Hatters boss relieved to finally hold on to a lead and also register Town's first clean sheet during R's victory

Luton boss Rob Edwards gives out instructions during Town's win at QPRLuton boss Rob Edwards gives out instructions during Town's win at QPR
Luton boss Rob Edwards gives out instructions during Town's win at QPR
Luton aren’t breached at Loftus Road in midweek triumph

Luton boss Rob Edwards was relieved his side were able to keep hold of a lead for the first time since he took over, and also pick up a first clean sheet of his tenure at Kenilworth Road during the 3-0 win at QPR on Thursday night.

The Hatters manager had seen Town score the first goal in both of his previous matches, against Middlesbrough and Norwich City, but only managing to hold the advantage for a total of 13 minutes, five at the Riverside Stadium and eight against the Canaries.

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However, once Carlton Morris had put Town ahead at Loftus Road with 10 gone, this time they kept out their hosts for the remainder of the first half, with Ethan Horvath only really tested by Ilias Chair’s low drive, before adding a second moments after the break.

They had a few let-offs as they game wore on, Tyler Roberts bouncing a header off the top of the bar, while Lyndon Dykes poked wide and a late chance was also missed, but by the final whistle, Town could celebrated not being breached for the ninth time this term.

Edward said: “We’ve spoken about that, we’ve conceded within 10 minutes the last two games.

"It’s great that three games in a row we’ve got the first goal, and that is always important, but to hold on to that for a longer period of time, get in to half time with a clean sheet was really good for us.”

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Wingback Alfie Doughty, who operated on both the right and left flanks during the fixture, was another thrilled to see Luton get through the match unscathed.

He continued: “I think we’re very good at defending, defending the box.

"The goal a few days ago (against Norwich) was a bit sloppy, but as a whole defending our box, we’re probably one of the best in the league.

"Today showed it, clean sheet, 3-0 away you can’t really beat it.

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“Away games, when you get to the 85th minute and are 3-0 up, that’s the only thing that you care about.

"You just care about keeping the clean sheet, but the 3-0 is perfect and the clean sheet rounds it up.”

One of Rangers’ main threats was always going to be Moroccan international Chair and so it proved in the first half as he danced around James Bree a few times, while also ghosting forward to test Horvath.

Edwards then moved Tom Lockyer on to mark him in that opening 45 as the Welshman negated his trickery, before he eventually went off with an hour gone for Chris Willock.

The Luton chief said: “He’s always going to be a threat.

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"He finds some good spaces, especially in transition, so when the turnover happens, he’s the first pass they’re looking for.

"Early on there was a couple of moments, but then I thought we managed him fairly well.

"We played against QPR, Richie (Kyle) and I had already played against QPR earlier in the season (3-2 defeat when in charge of Watford) and they did cause a threat in that transition.

"So it’s something we really focused on, I thought the lads defended it really well.”

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One thing Edwards knows his side have to work on though is the amount of free kicks they gave away, as with 20 fouls conceded, it was double to that of the hosts.

They picked up four bookings as well, although did avoid registering a third red card in three games, but the boss warned: “A lot of free kicks that we gave away, allowing opportunities then to put the ball into the box, but we found a way to defend them which you have to do.

"Pottsy (Dan Potts) was just cramping up a lot, we were watching him for a while and then we had to get him off, had to do the right thing and then you’re putting Clicker (Jordan Clark) at wingback and shuffling people about.

"Full credit to the lads, they stuck to their task, they defended manfully and I thought still retained a threat as well going that way.

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"But this is great group here, there was a change (Nathan Jones moving to Southampton) for a reason, and it was a positive reason.

"So we knew coming in we were working with a really good group of players, a really good group of staff and it’s nice.

"We’ve had, Middlesbrough game included, we’ve had three good performances and I think we’ve learned and got better in each one and that’s really pleasing.”

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