Rob Edwards calls on Luton to learn from last year as Hatters eye Premier League dream

Rob Edwards calls on Luton to learn from last year as Hatters eye Premier League dream

Luton boss Rob Edwards believes his side are ready to use the pain of last year’s playoff defeat to achieve a remarkable first promotion to the Premier League.

The Hatters were a non-league side less than a decade ago and have not played in the top-flight of English football since being relegated in 1991/92, the final season before the Premier League’s launch.

The club came close to promotion 12 months ago, knocked out of the playoffs after a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Huddersfield, but travel to Sunderland for Saturday’s semi-final first-leg as favourites having finished third behind Burnley and Sheffield United in the regular season.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the lads handle it. A number of them had the disappointment of last season and they don’t want that again," Edwards said.

"We can learn from that experience, we can talk about it. The one thing that I’m looking for is the performance, doing our basics and those things really well because that’s what has served us well throughout the season so far.

"If we do those things right you give yourself a good chance of getting a result but I can’t say ‘yeah, we’re going to go one step further’."

Edwards took over from Southampton-bound Nathan Jones back in November and has led a superb second half of the campaign, Luton finishing the season with a 14-match unbeaten run - though the manager himself played down the significance of that form.

“The play-offs are something else, they are a different beast,” he added. “The players do deserve a lot of credit to finish third in this league but we’re not done and we don’t want it to end now.”

Coventry host Middlesbrough in the other semi-final on Sunday, with both return legs set for next week.