Luton boss didn't 'rant and rave' at his players following humiliating home defeat

Town chief wants to see a response this weekend
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Luton boss Rob Edwards revealed he wasn’t about to ‘rant and rave’ at his players following their 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Brentford on Saturday.

​The Hatters suffered a second successive thrashing by the same scoreline at the weekend, making it 10 goals conceded in just two matches, although unlike the defeat at Manchester City previously, this was done with a far stronger side, Gabe Osho, Sambi Lokonga, Teden Mengi and Issa Kabore all returning having missed the trip to the Etihad.

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Having cut a dejected figure when going round the Kenilworth Road turf at the end of the game, offering an apologetic hand to the home supporters who still gave the manager a fine ovation, asked if he had given the squad a dressing down when back in the sanctuary of the changing room given the manner of the display they had offered up, speaking after the game, Edwards said: “You don’t want it to become like white noise and it be like that all the time.

Luton boss Rob Edwards apologises to the Hatters fans after Saturday's 5-1 loss to Brentford - pic: Liam SmithLuton boss Rob Edwards apologises to the Hatters fans after Saturday's 5-1 loss to Brentford - pic: Liam Smith
Luton boss Rob Edwards apologises to the Hatters fans after Saturday's 5-1 loss to Brentford - pic: Liam Smith

"I try and pick my moments. Today was a moment to just speak and speak what I felt at the time, but I didn’t rant and rave as I’m not sure that would have had too much of an effect right there right then. It might be a case on Monday, I don't know, I’ll see once I’ve reviewed things, but I spoke how I felt and how I feel is that we’re in this. Today was a bad day for us as a club, but we’re not out of it and it’s important that we all remember that as well.

"All we’ve got to try and harness now is the spirit, the quality, the fight, the intensity that we’ve shown, that has kept us in and around it this season. We know we have to go and show that now with four games to go, we owe it to ourselves to do that. What we can’t do now is we can’t lose people or blame people. I can’t become a different person just because we’ve lost a game of football, but the players know there needs to be a response.”

The Hatters had suffered a disappointing 3-1 reverse in their previous clash against the Bees back in early December, which was a key moment in the club’s season, Edwards using the defeat as a cornerstone to change how he wanted his team to go about things. It worked as well, Luton going on a run of three wins and two draws from their next eight games, also pushing the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea all the way in narrow losses at Kenilworth Road.

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Although Town were undone once more in hugely disappointing fashion by Thomas Frank’s visitors, the Hatters chief felt his side weren’t the same kind of team who had taken the pitch at the Gtech Stadium when going up against a club who are now out of Luton’s reach in the battle to stay up. He continued: “It was a very different game to that. Our plan was different in the previous game against Brentford where we were probably still at that stage, working out where we are, who we are in this league.

"I know it was December time, but after that I didn’t want us to be like that again. Today we attempted to try and be what’s got us success after that last game against Brentford but we just didn’t manage it well enough, didn’t have that intensity that we have had in so many games. I was asked if it must-win, it wasn’t must-win. It was important, we’ve lost an important game, so we have to respond in the right way. I’m deflated and I’m hurting right now because of the manner of the performance.

"I’ve never really had to come out too many times this year in front of you guys and say, that wasn’t us, today it wasn’t us and I haven’t got all the reasons for that right now, I’ll have to review the game and see. We just needed the points for ourselves. Brentford were a few ahead, they weren’t necessarily a team we were gunning for, but we know had we had won they’re maybe still looking over their shoulders slightly. They’re not now, but we only need the points for ourselves.”

With Luton having seven days now to prepare for the latest in what is a massive four remaining games this term, heading to Edwards’ former side in Wolves, then on how he expects his players to approach the fixture, he added: “The reaction is to look like what it’s looked like when we’ve performed well, so it’ll be honesty this week.

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"Show the things we’ve not done well enough and try to correct some things, but at this stage of the season now, we still have an opportunity to be in the Premier League next season and we don’t want to give that up easily. I’m pretty confident we’ll respond in the right way and that doesn’t mean we’re going to win against Wolves away, that’s a tough game, we know that, but I need, we need, to see a response.”

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