Hatters boss Edwards backs Wales to impress in World Cup as he sees similarities with the spirit in his new Luton side
New Luton boss Rob Edwards has backed Town defender Tom Lockyer and Wales to do well in their first World Cup Finals since 1958 ahead of their opening Group B clash against the USA this evening, insisting the Dragons have a similar team spirit to what he has inherited at Kenilworth Road.
Lockyer was called up by head coach Rob Page for the tournament out in Qatar, a justified reward for his superb club form for the Hatters in recent weeks, starting 16 out of 17 matches, Town keeping seven clean sheets in that time.
Edwards himself is a former Welsh international, playing 15 times for his country, although never appearing at a major finals, said: “I think they’ll do well, what they have is similar to just what we’ve been talking about there.
"They have an unbelievable spirit, an unbelievable togetherness and they play hard on that.
“They've got some real talent in there as well and I think they’ll do well.”
Wales will be led into the tournament by talisman Gareth Bale, the former Real Madrid and Spurs attacker having won 108 caps, scoring 40 goals.
Edwards continued “He’s unbelievable, what a player he’s been for Wales, and for every club that he’s every represented.
"I think I was involved in his debut, he was probably 16 at the time, an incredible young player at the time.
"I remember playing against him when he was at Southampton and he just bullying me, nicking the ball off me and then turning and running back the other way and I was just trying to chase him.
"Outstanding footballer, what he’s done for Welsh football, unbelievable that he’s been able to lead his team, his nation into the World Cup and of course I wish them well.”
Lockyer is one of two Town players who are in the tournament, with keeper Ethan Horvath also included in the USA’s 26-man squad as well.
Edwards will be keeping an eye on events out in Qatar, although concentrating on his new job in hand as well, adding: “We’ve got a couple of lads who are out there so we wish them well.
"I know they’ll go and represent the club really well and themselves and their families, so we’ll be keeping a special eye on the, and it’s the Word Cup.
“It’s an amazing event.
"I know there’s a lot going on around it, but it’s the World Cup, so I'll be keeping more than an eye on it.
"But this (managing Luton) will taking over quite a lot of my mind now going forward, so the World Cup might be a little bit more on the side.”