Townsend desperate to give Luton fans the celebration they deserve by staying in the Premier League

Hatters attacker aims to cause an upset at Arsenal this evening
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Luton winger Andros Townsend is desperate to give Town’s fanbase the celebrations they deserve in May by keeping the club in the Premier League this season.

That goal looks a tough ask on paper, the Hatters now three points adrift of safety following Nottingham Forest’s 3-1 win over Fulham last night, while Everton are four points higher as they drew 1-1 at Newcastle United. Town’s aims at cutting that gap appear a tall order, as they head to a title-chasing Arsenal side this evening, who had been on the back of an eight game winning run until drawing 0-0 at Manchester City on Sunday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, Townsend, who has made 25 appearances since arriving on a free transfer earlier in the season, is determined to make sure that Luton’s supporters are the ones rejoicing in just over a month’s time, as he said: “They’re incredible, they’re true supporters. They support us when we play well, when we don’t play well, they support us when we win, we draw, we lose, we’re so grateful to them and we’re so desperate to give them something to cheer about at the end of the season.

Luton's travelling fans roar their side on at Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam SmithLuton's travelling fans roar their side on at Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam Smith
Luton's travelling fans roar their side on at Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam Smith

"I know we’ve dropped into the relegation zone, but we’re still in the hunt, we’re still fighting, still battling and hopefully we can give them something to cheer about at the end of the season, as if there’s a fanbase that deserves to be celebrating at the end of the season it’s those guys.”

Townsend is well aware that to do that will see Luton need to pull off one of the biggest shocks in Premier League history, as they head to Emirates Stadium with a threadbare squad tonight, looking to deal a hammer blow to Mikel Arteta’s hopes of lifting the title this term. He continued: “All games are difficult now, we’re going to approach it the same way we did today (against Spurs).

"We’ll look to be resolute in our defending shape, whether that be defending high up the pitch or defending in the low block and look to hurt the on the counter attack. It’s going to be a tough game, they’re going for the title, hopefully they’ve had a tough game on Sunday against City and we can go there and cause an upset. It’s a massive game so we have to dust ourselves down, regroup and look to see what kind of team we can put out.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Town themselves approach the game having made it eight top flight matches without a victory after going down 2-1 to the Gunners’ great north London rivals Tottenham at the weekend. It was another match that had offered so much, Luton leading at the break thanks to Tahith Chong’s clinical finish, only for the visitors to once more let that advantage slip in the second period and ultimately leave with nothing.

Townsend said: “It's always a tough one to take. We’ve been on the flip side where we’ve nicked something in the last minute, so it’s always devastating when you concede in the last minute, but especially when you defend so well for most of the game. We scored early and then it’s about holding on and being resolute, trying to hit them on the counter attack.

"Unfortunately again after half time we switched off and they equalised. Then it’s an uphill battle when you’re playing against a resurgent team, the crowd get behind them and it’s wave after wave. We almost held out and almost equalised at the end, but everyone’s devastated.”

The former Spurs winger had played a huge part in the deadlock being broken, winning the ball back in his own half before setting off on a driving run forward to pick out Ross Barkley, who teed up Chong to make it 1-0. He added: “Everyone knows Spurs they like to bring their full backs inside, naturally when the full backs come inside, any turnovers sees the space in wide areas and I was able to utilise it on a few occasions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Thankfully we were clinical early on and I really thought getting ourselves ahead in two minutes, we would be able to hold out and pick them off on the counter attack. We had a couple of moments, but unfortunately we weren’t able to create enough and it wasn’t to be.”