Luton chief wants his players to take confidence from beating Everton twice already

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Hatters have triumphed during both visits to Goodison Park

Luton boss Rob Edwards believes his side can take plenty of confidence from their two previous victories over Everton this season when they host the Toffees at Kenilworth Road tonight.

The Hatters go into their must-win clash having had the edge over their top flight rivals this term, winning 2-1 at Goodison Park in their league encounter back in September, goals from Carlton Morris and Tom Lockyer earning the visitors a first Premier League victory of the campaign. Town then travelled to the blue side of Merseyside for their FA Cup fourth round clash in January, and progressed to the next stage thanks to Vitalii Mykolenko’s own goal and Cauley Woodrow’s winner in the dying seconds of stoppage time.

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Both results can certainly boost Luton’s spirits ahead of a game that they simply have to emerge triumphant from this evening, particularly as they have struggled for wins in recent times, just one from their last 13 top flight encounters, as Edwards said: “We can, we know that we can beat them. We can compete with them at Kenilworth Road, especially if we’re at it, then we know we can.

Cauley Woodrow scores Luton's stoppage time winner at Goodison Park in January - pic: Alex Livesey/Getty ImagesCauley Woodrow scores Luton's stoppage time winner at Goodison Park in January - pic: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Cauley Woodrow scores Luton's stoppage time winner at Goodison Park in January - pic: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

"It’s a different day, different types of pressures, more on the game for us especially now at this stage, so we’ve got to deal with that, but we have done twice before, so we can take belief and confidence from that. Also I’m recognising that it’s a different day and a different set of circumstances now, we’ve got to make sure we deal with this occasion and it brings out the best in us.”

A few weeks ago, the fixture was being earmarked as a massive six-pointer in the battle to stay up, the Toffees fighting against relegation themselves having had another points deduction for breaching Premier League profit and sustainability rules. However, a run of four straight home wins, culminating with a 1-0 success over Brentford last weekend, has ensured that Everton are now assured of their place in the top flight for another campaign.

The manner in which the Toffees have changed their direction of travel is something Edwards can take positives from too, as he continued: “Definitely, we can’t necessarily do the same things Everton do, they’ve been very defensively solid all year, so we can’t be them, but it does show you can very quickly change your world really.

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"That’s what they've done, four wins in five games and bosh they're out of it. With all the stuff they've had going on this year, I know Sean (Dyche) will say points wise they shouldn't be in that position anyway, but that’s where they were, so it does show that. We’re running out of games now, so we understand how important it is right here right now to get something.”

Now they are safe, on whether that could see the visitors ever so slightly off it, giving Town a precious advantage in front of their own fans, as they know nothing short of a win is really enough, Edwards added: “Time will tell, we don’t know, we haven’t got a crystal ball. They’ve done incredibly well to deal with very difficult circumstances and get themselves out of it and we know it’s huge for us, so times like this it’s who deals with the pressure best.

"There’s less on them now, that could give them an edge with more freedom and a little bit less pressure to deal with, but hopefully we respond in the right way. The outcome does matter now, we’re at the business end of the season. It is a really, really big game for us, we know that, we’ve got to find that performance and hopefully that can help us get the right result."

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