Shea: Play-off final win momentum has proved crucial for Addicks
Luton keeper James Shea believes that the momentum gained by winning the League One play-off final has propelled tonight's opponents Charlton to their position of relative safety during the first half of the Championship campaign.
With Town already having promotion secured last term after being crowned champions, the Addicks faced three more matches, beating Doncaster Rovers over two legs and then defeating Sunderland 2-1 in the final at Wembley on May 26.
They then had a brief summer break, before returning to pre-season training in early July, and have carried that form into the second tier, winning four out of their opening six matches, drawing the other two.
A slight dip has followed, Athletic winning just two out of 11, but they still sit in 13th place, nine points above the Hatters.
On their early season form, Shea said; "It’s momentum, they carried their momentum from the play-off final.
"They probably had a shorter break then everybody else and they’ve carried their momentum through.
"It’s massive, if you get that one win, it leads to two, leads to three, and you just keep riding that wave.
"That’s what we need at the minute, just need to put a couple of wins together and hopefully we can start that on Tuesday."
Town failed to take three points off the Addicks last season, drawing 2-2 at Kenilwoirth Road, before they lost 3-1 at the Valley on April 13 suffering a first defeat since October 13, as their record breaking unbeaten run came to an end.
That won't cross Shea's mind this evening though, as he said: "It will be great to win, it’s another game, there’s no feelings about because they beat us when we were 28 games unbeaten, that doesn’t really matter to us to.
"It’s just another game we want to win.
“It's another big test, every game is a test, every game is a big game, that’s the Championship.
"There's not one game you think, 'we might get three points here,' it’s not like that.
"Every game is a big team, a big club and it’s just another one again on Tuesday."
Although Town go into the contest on the back of a 2-1 defeat by Leeds United on Saturday, making it five successive losses, a run that has seen them slide into the relegation zone, Shea believes there is still plenty of optimism amongst the squad.
He said: "There’s always positivity.
"It’s a great group, a great group to be around, it will be positive as it’s just right now, it’s a bit gutting the way we’ve lost.
"But everyone will be positive and we’ll go again."