Hatters keeper insists automatic promotion race is still on after 'statement' win at Blades

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Town stopper keeps another clean sheet at Bramall Lane

Luton keeper Ethan Horvath insists an automatic promotion challenge is definitely still on for the Hatters this season after what he described as a ‘statement’ win at Sheffield United on Saturday.

Town’s 1-0 victory at the Blades saw them climb up to fourth and cut the gap on their second placed hosts to seven points with 10 games remaining, although Middlesbrough are also now just four adrift of Paul Heckingbottom’s side.

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Luton could find themselves back in fifth this evening with Millwall hosting Swansea, while Michael Carrick’s Boro could extend their advantage when entertaining Stoke.

Town keeper Ethan HorvathTown keeper Ethan Horvath
Town keeper Ethan Horvath

When asked if the Hatters had realistic chances of reaching the Premier League without needing the play-offs, Horvath knows to do so, they have to make sure they are victorious when hosting Bristol City tomorrow, as he said: “Yes, 100 per cent.

“The atmosphere was good, the manager made sure people weren’t afraid to come here.

"He took it as a positive, ‘take it in before the game, start walking out, look around, take it all in.’

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"It’s a massive game and we all want to be playing these games, so I think that was good from the manager, to just calm everybody down.

"Don’t let the moment get too big and I think we handled it great.

“I think it’s a good statement, but we need to back it up on Wednesday night.

“We need to make sure we back it up and then for myself and the boys, if we back it up Wednesday, then it’s a big statement what we did.”

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Edwards admitted he had challenged his players to get a result at Bramall Lane after the three defeats of his reign so far had come against fellow promotion-chasers.

Horvath, on loan from Nottingham Forest for the season, was pleased he and his players stood up to the test and emerged victorious thanks to Carlton Morris’s goal early in the second half, saying: “The last thing he said to us, against some of the top teams, we battled them hard, and ended up on the other side of the result.

"So today the challenge was to come to a top side, they’re in second place, and to get a result and we did that.

"It wasn't an ugly fashion as well, we played good, we were solid in the defence.

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“We got the goal early on and I think that was positive as then Sheffield needed to maybe come out of their shell a bit and push a bit more, which I think favours us as we’re also good on the counter.

"We have speed and strength up top, so to get a goal early in the second half was a huge favour for us.”