Shea wants Luton to put some daylight between themselves and fellow play-off chasers Millwall

Keeper happy to be going up against a Lions side with something to play for

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 2nd April 2022, 8:19 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd April 2022, 8:22 am
Luton keeper James Shea
Luton keeper James Shea

Luton keeper James Shea wants his side to put some daylight between themselves and the chasing pack when they entertain Millwall at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

Following some much-needed time off due to the international break, the Hatters resume their Championship campaign sitting fourth in the table, as they were leapfrogged by Huddersfield Town who won 1-0 at Hull City last night, four points above Middlesbrough in seventh place.

Although the Lions are back in 10th, Gary Rowett’s team remain just six points off the Hatters, meaning a win for Town would open up a sizable gap ahead of the final seven matches.

Shea said: “They’re another team who are in and around the play-offs, they’ll be thinking ‘if we can beat Luton it gives us a right good chance.’

“But if we beat Millwall, it gives us a good chance that they can’t overtake us, so it’s another big game.

“We want to win, they want to win, so we’ll see what happens.

“Thankfully we’re at home, we’ve got our crowd with us, and it will be a big three points.

“Everyone was looking forward to have a nice little break, but we were back in on Monday and it’s just like, ‘let’s go now, we’ve got eight games left, let’s give it a right good go.’

“We’ve got to enjoy it, which we are, we’ll just see where we are at the end of the season and go from there.”

Shea is happy that Luton are entertaining an opposition who still have something plausible to aim for following an experience when the Hatters were looking to secure the League One title in 2019.

He continued: “I’ll never forget, I remember when we played Burton in League One, they had nothing to play for, and they turned into Barcelona.

“It shows when they have nothing to play for, they just play, and it’s a dangerous situation to be in, when they don’t care, or they turn up and think ‘we’re just going to play,’ and it worked for them.

“So it’s nice to play teams that are playing for something and not just petering out for the rest of the season.”

It will be the same for Town on Tuesday night, although then they head to a Peterborough side with completely contrasting ambitions, desperate for a victory to preserve their second tier survival, currently seven points adrift ahead of Saturday’s matches.

Shea said; “It’s different sides in different situations, but all fighting for something.

“It’s a crazy league this Championship, you don’t realise until you’re in it how crazy it is.

“Anyone can beat anyone, and someone’s always playing for something, no matter what.

“Four points separates us to seventh, it can work both ways, lose a couple and you can find yourself out of it, win a couple and you’re flying.”

Although Luton are only six points behind second-placed Bournemouth, with the Cherries having two games in hand, Shea thinks an automatic slot might be one step too far on this occasion.

He added: “I’m not going to lie, in my opinion, I think the top two are gone, I think they’re the two best teams in the league as well.

"All we’ve got to do is look after ourselves, not worry about anyone else, take it one game at a time, starting with Millwall on Saturday and we’ll see where we go from there, that is literally all we can do.

"I can’t sit here and say we’re going to win every game from now until the end of the season as we won’t, we’re going to win some, we’re going to lose some and we’ll probably draw some.

"It’s just come the end of the season, hopefully we have enough points to be in the play-offs.”