Lockyer insists Arsenal and Manchester City trips won't define Luton's season

Defender looks to final five matches for Town to save their top flight status
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Luton defender Tom Lockyer insists that his side know their Premier League future won’t be decided by their next two away games which involve two of the teams fighting it out in one of the best title races the top division of English football has seen in recent years.

The Hatters head to Arsenal this evening to go up against a Gunners side sitting second in the table, two points behind Liverpool, with a win taking them back to the summit for 24 hours at least, the Reds at home to Sheffield United tomorrow. Town then entertain AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, before another incredibly difficult test next weekend, as they head to a Manchester City side who are currently third and at home to fourth placed Aston Villa tonight.

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Luton themselves dropped into deeper relegation trouble yesterday after Nottingham Forest beat Fulham 3-1, while Everton drew 1-1 at Newcastle United, with Burnley now hot on their heels too having drawn 1-1 with Wolves at Turf Moor. Lockyer knows his team-mates will give it everything this evening and at the Etihad Stadium, but has his eyes on the five games after that, when Town face Brentford, Wolves, Everton, West Ham and Fulham.

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu comes away with the ball against Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam SmithPelly Ruddock Mpanzu comes away with the ball against Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam Smith
Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu comes away with the ball against Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam Smith

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “We’re probably going to go after them (Arsenal) and give them a right fight, but our season won’t be defined by Arsenal away and Man City. You’d probably say that before the season has even started, as if we get anything from those two games it will be a bonus. It’s the Bournemouth one in between that. We had a close one with them at the Vitality, came on the wrong end of that again, those sorts of games against the teams around us.

"We've got a nice little run after Man City of games where probably you look at that could define our season and they’re more the ones you’re going to target. It’s hard for Rob Edwards at the minute, the amount of injuries we’ve got, you can’t change anything and the lads are having to put massive shifts in week in week out. The way we play, on the front foot, it’s so demanding, so not having the ability to change and mix things up is quite tough.”

The manner in which the Hatters have looked to try and achieve safety in recent weeks and months has seen them earn a number of plaudits from those outside Kenilworth Road, with plenty hoping that Edwards can guide his side to another season in the top level of English football. They have pushed teams with far superior budgets extremely close all term, none more so than being four minutes away from victory at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, also only going down by one goal against Aston Villa and Manchester United too.

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Lockyer would love to see them finally end up on the right side of such a result, adding: “The Premier League is unforgiving. We’ve done really well in a lot of the games, gone toe-to-toe with a lot of the big dogs, but we always just at the minute seem to be on the wrong end of the result. If we could get a couple on the other end then that would be lovely, but one thing is for sure, we’re going to fight. Everyone wants to see Luton do well because of that fighting spirit, that’s what you’re seeing week in week out.”