Town attacker frustrated Luton haven't already pulled clear of the relegation zone

Townsend feels the Hatters have dropped too many points recently
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Attacker Andros Townsend couldn’t hide his frustration that Luton are still firmly involved in the conversation regarding who stays in the Premier League this season, believing the Hatters should have done enough to already be in relative safety.

It had looked like that could have been the case during the festive period when Town recorded back-to-back wins against Newcastle and Sheffield United. Although they lost 3-2 at home to Chelsea, a 1-1 draw at Burnley and 4-0 demolition of Brighton & Hove Albion in late January saw Luton make it three victories from six, moving above Everton, who still had their 10-point deduction to climb out of the bottom three.

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Rob Edwards’ side were then leading 4-2 at Newcastle United with 28 minutes to go, before the downward spiral began, conceding twice to leave St James' Park with just a point, albeit something they would have happily taken beforehand. From there, Town went on a run of four straight defeats in the league, seeing a 1-0 half time lead at Anfield turn into a 4-1 loss, also conceding a last minute goal to lose 3-2 to Aston Villa having fought back brilliantly from 2-0 down.

Hatters attacker Andros Townsend - pic: Liam SmithHatters attacker Andros Townsend - pic: Liam Smith
Hatters attacker Andros Townsend - pic: Liam Smith

They ended that slump with a stoppage time leveller of their own to draw 1-1 against Crystal Palace, but then somehow went down 4-3 at Bournemouth having been 3-0 in front at the break. Town needed another last-gasp goal to rescue a point against Nottingham Forest before the international break, picking up just a third out of the last 24 available.

A four point reduction for the Toffees, plus a four point deduction for the Reds due to breaking Premier League profit and sustainability rules, means that Luton go into the final nine games of the campaign sitting a point clear of the drop zone. Speaking to the BBC Monday Night Club, Townsend feels they should have far larger cushion to their fellow strugglers, saying: “Yes, we would have taken being above the dotted line at the start of the season but I feel like we should be clear of the relegation zone.

"We shouldn't be in the conversation. Three-nil up against Bournemouth, lost four-three, two-all in the last minute against Villa, lost three-two, four-two up against Newcastle, draw four-four. I don’t know how to feel. I'm happy that we're above the relegation zone, but I'm a bit like, we could be doing so much better, we could be so much higher.”

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With Luton also making a habit of never giving up whatever the scoreline is, it has seen them earn a number of points from seemingly impossible situations, fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Forest in October, as they also hit back from 2-1 down at Sheffield United to win 3-2. Netting two late levellers in their last three matches gives Townsend further belief in the club’s aims to be a top flight team next season, adding: “Yes we’ve conceded a few late goals, but that’s been us many times.

“We’ve either got points in the last minute, or wins in the last minute, so that’s us, a never say die attitude. When we go one-nil down, or two-nil down, or three-nil down as we did against Chelsea at Kenilworth Road, we know that we can get back into the game. Until the last kick of the game we know we’re still in it, and hopefully that's what will see us survive at the end of the season.”