Lockyer insists Luton deserve huge credit for a second successive promotion challenge

Town in the mix to reach the Premier League again this season
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Luton defender Tom Lockyer insists his side deserve great credit for putting themselves in the promotion mix for the second season running.

The Hatters head to Millwall this afternoon just six points off Sheffield United in second place, a gap they could cut to three by the time the Blades have stepped out on to the field for their clash with Wigan Athletic.

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Town have experience of being in such a lofty position, having finished sixth last term, beaten 2-1 on aggregate in the play-offs by Huddersfield.

Tom Lockyer points out during Luton's 2-0 win over WatfordTom Lockyer points out during Luton's 2-0 win over Watford
Tom Lockyer points out during Luton's 2-0 win over Watford

While Lockyer and his team-mates have flourished again, the Terriers face a huge battle to stay in the division, sitting third from bottom, although appear rejuvenated under the returning Neil Warnock.

The Welsh international believes the fluctuating levels of success from the two sides just shows to highlight how well his team have done, saying: “It’s a weird one as if you’d have said we’d be in this situation with seven games to go now, at the start of the season, I think everyone would have bit your hand off wouldn’t they.

"As it’s not as easy as that, with the hangover of last year’s play-offs, just look at Huddersfield now.

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"Just because you were there last year doesn’t mean you automatically deserve to be there the following year, so it’s testament to everyone at the club for the work they’ve done this season.

"But we want to go one better than last year, that’s the plan, and I think we are in a better position than we were last year heading into these final few games.

"What will be will be, but we’ll give it our best and hopefully we can achieve our goal.”

Town’s attempts to reach Wembley and the Premier League were severely hampered by injuries last term, barely able to field a first XI due to the amount of players who were out.

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Ahead of today’s contest in South East London, only midfielder Jordan Clark is absent, as Lockyer continued: “Touch wood we can avoid the injuries that plagued us towards the end of last season and we can have a really good, fit squad heading into these final few games and potentially the play-offs.

"It’s part of football all the injuries, but to have as many as we did last year, at one point, doesn’t help, but everyone’s fit and raring at the minute, bar Clicker, so if we can get him back then we’ll have a good outfit going into the final few games.”

Following today’s contest, Luton are then back in action on Easter Monday, as they entertain relegation threatened Blackpool at Kenilworth Road.

Locker added: “You keep winning games, the table looks better.

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"The thing is, we’ve got seven games now, but after the weekend, it’s going to be five, so it’s going to be a quick turnaround.

"These games in quick succession, the Easter weekend is when you can utilise the squad.

"It’s great for the manager to have not a complete selection to choose from, but a lot more than normal.”