Edwards urges Town to strike first and pile the pressure on relegation rivals Forest
Source: Lutontoday

Watch more of our videos on Shots! and live on Freeview channel 276

Luton boss Rob Edwards is hoping to pile the pressure on one of the Hatters' main relegation rivals Nottingham Forest when they get to go first in the battle to stay in the Premier League this term.

Town host Brentford at Kenilworth Road tomorrow, as they know a victory over the Bees will see them jump out of the bottom three, a position they will remain in as Everton entertain Forest at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon, meaning points will be dropped by one if not both of the two teams directly above them.

The Hatters then head to Wolves on Saturday, April 27, 24 hours before Forest entertain title-chasing Manchester City, as May starts with Luton at home to Everton, that game now rescheduled for the night of Friday, May 3, Forest not in action until a trip to Sheffield United at 3pm on Saturday, May 4. The following week, May 11, Town go to West Ham United in a 3pm kick-off, Nuno Espirito Santos's team entertaining Chelsea at 5.30pm ahead of the final contests of the season that all start at the same time, 4pm on the Sunday, Luton entertaining Fulham and Forest at Burnley.

"If we do put an extra bit of pressure on then great, definitely. We're all feeling the pressure at this stage of the season, whether people are fighting at the top or at the bottom, the games are big so we're all feeling it and they certainly will be on Sunday. If we get a positive result tomorrow, it's inevitable it will pile a bit more pressure on the other teams, no doubt about it.

"We know what a win tomorrow means, but there's still a long way to go. We can't look past tomorrow, but we know what it represents going into their game on Sunday. The only game we can focus on is ourselves though, it's a big game, I know that, we all know that, it's a really big game."

The fact that Luton have three matches on home soil as opposed to Forest's two is another factor that could turn the dogfight into the Hatters' favour, especially as they are on a two game unbeaten run in front of their own fans, taking four points from a possible six having beaten AFC Bournemouth 2-1 last time out. Edwards is readying himself for some highly-charged atmospheres in the coming weeks as both he and Luton's supporters know the magnitude of the matches facing them.

He continued: "Every one of our games at home has been tight and competitive this season, so we know it probably represents our best chance at getting points, but we go into the Wolves and West Ham games as well with complete belief. We just have to focus on this game here against a really good team, but a game that if we perform well in, like we did last time against Bournemouth, we know we can win.

"The three home games, it's the last Saturday three o'clock kick-off we're going to have this season, so I'm sure the atmosphere will be brilliant. We've got a Friday night under the lights against Everton which I'm pretty sure that is going to be all right and then if we're still in the mix going into the final game then of course it's going to be an amazing atmosphere. So I think we've got three special games, especially at home to come, as long as we're still in that fight."

Summing up his side's final matches of the campaign, Edwards was happy to have now played all the top six sides, going up against Arsenal, Spurs and City in recent weeks. That wasn't to diminish the dangers of a Brentford team who went some way to securing their own safety when beating Sheffield United last weekend though, as he added: "It's five difficult games.

"They're all difficult games for us as we've won six games all season and we've played well in a lot of games and not won, so I wouldn't ever say we'd pick these five games. The next one, which is what all of our focus is on, gives us an opportunity. Clearly Manchester City away is a very difficult one, maybe this one tomorrow is a bit more realistic, with all due respect to Brentford, it just is.

"What they've done as a football club for a number of years now is very impressive, Thomas (Frank), his staff, the players, the whole club, they deserve a lot of credit for what they've done. They've grown into this league and have looked like a really good team for a long time. I know they've had difficult moments this season, but probably like us will look at games where they've left points out there at times.

"You look at their performance against Manchester United recently and it doesn't look like a team that's struggling, so we know what we're coming up against. They're a very good team, they're pretty consistent and they're a team that do the basics things very well, as well as anyone. They value that sort of stuff, so I've been really impressed in difficult circumstances with a number of teams this year and obviously they're one of them."