Hatters boss prepares for strange experience with Luton having little play for ahead of play-offs

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Town travel to Blackburn Rovers today and then host Hull City

Luton boss Rob Edwards is wary of the strange situation that the club finds themselves in going into the final two games of the season.

With the Hatters not able to land an automatic promotion spot, those taken by Burnley and Sheffield United, while they are already assured of a play-off place, plus home advantage in the second leg of their semi-final, then there is very little to play for apart from finishing ahead of Middlesbrough in third spot.

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It’s a new position for Town’s squad and Edwards himself to be in, even from his promotion days when playing for Norwich City and Blackpool, as he said: “I’ve not experienced it before. I got in the play-offs twice before but it was late, so it’s new for me.

Hatters boss Rob EdwardsHatters boss Rob Edwards
Hatters boss Rob Edwards

“It’s different situation. A couple of the lads, Carlton (Morris), Cauley (Woodrow), Jack (Walton) have been at Barnsley with two games to go when they knew they were in the play-offs, they’ve experienced a little bit of it.

“If we were still going for it and we didn’t know if we were in, then you’ve got to be at full tilt.

"We want to be at full tilt but we all know what’s coming as well.

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“Human nature will say that it’s fully difficult to engage that part of your brain that maybe we’re not even in control of.

“It might be the same for supporters because it was just a strange atmosphere the other night (against Middlesbrough), we get the goal and then everyone gets going.

“Everyone’s thinking, are we going to rest people or not? They’ve (Middlesbrough) rested a few.

“Where do we want to come? Do we want to finish third or fourth? We need him fit. Should we take him off now?

“There’s all of this stuff going on.

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"Fans are probably thinking the same thoughts, but there’s a lot of expertise that I’ve got on the staff with me and we’ll try to make the right decisions.”

On whether he will set a specific plan for today’s trip to Blackburn Rovers and next Monday’s home clash with Hull ahead of their two-legged semi-final contest against an opponent yet to be confirmed, Edwards continued: “It’s too difficult to do.

“We could do that, but we’ve talked a lot about the word momentum as well haven’t we and I want us to try and keep that.

"We’ve had that for a long, long time now, we’ve picked up a lot of good results, we’ve had good performances, we’ve had some indifferent performances, but we’ve got results in the game.

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"So we want to try and keep that going, but you don’t know exactly what's going to happen in a game either.

"It’s difficult to say on the stroke of that minute there, we’re going to make these changes.

"But everyone needs to understand that as well, we can have a little bit more of a plan and we can try and look after people if needed as well in these next couple of games.”

Luton might be able to make some changes to the side who beat Middlesbrough 2-1 last Monday, with Jordan Clark now fit again, while Dan Potts is also in full training, but there won’t be masses of alterations to the side, as Edwards added: “We’ll try and win and we want people fit and fresh when we come out the back of the two games.

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"We’ll probably go about it in the same way we have done for the Middlesbrough game.

"The stuff riding on them is momentum, that’s it at the moment now, it’s your pride, it’s your competitive edge.

"We all want to win when we get out there, you feel that at soon as the whistle goes the other day.

"We want to win and we’re like that on the touchline, you can see all the lads celebrating together when we score, but it’s different, it’s new for us all.

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“We know really where we’re going to be, we’re third or fourth, that’s it.

"We know we’re going to be away then home (in the play-offs), we know we’re in, but we want to win.

"It’s a different type of mindset to what it’s going to be in that first play-off game, probably, because that’s human nature, you can’t really do too much about that.

"We all know when a game really, really means something, and we know we’ve got those games coming up and that’s just in the back of peoples heads, we can’t do anything to stop that.

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"It really is strange, but all we can do is prepare, be consistent, keep doing the same things that’s got us to where we are right now as the lads have done great.

"So we’re not going to do anything differently, we’ll try and manage everyone’s load, have a plan like we’ve said, try and get some minutes for some other people, but we’re not going to change everything as we’ve had a lot of success with it.

"We’ve got to try and keep what we’ve got as well, that momentum, we don’t want it to go at the most important stage.”