Luton boss Rob Edwards believes Town have already ended their play-off hoodoo ahead of Saturday’s Championship final against Coventry City.
Ahead of the two-legged semi-final with Sunderland, the Hatters had never won a play-off clash in their Football League history, suffering aggregate defeats to Crewe Alexandra, Blackpool and Huddersfield in their previous six attempts.
Their record in non-league hadn’t been much better either, only ever winning three matches out of eight, on all three occasions, those victories coming against Wrexham.
They then lost 2-1 at the Black Cats in the first leg earlier this month, before enjoying a terrific 2-0 success on home soil last week to finally chalk up a triumph in the EFL end of season lotter, setting up a decider with the Sky Blues at Wembley tomorrow.
Asked if he had even considered Town’s previous play-off disappointments, Edwards said: “No, not at all.
“I’d like to think we lifted our hoodoo a week ago getting that win.
“It’s not come into our thinking, we’ll just try and prepare as normally and go and do what we try and do, go and be the best version of us on the day and if we are then we’ve got a right good chance.”
With City boss Mark Robins labelling the final as one for the ‘romantics’, Edwards didn’t think that the Hatters’ potential fairy-tale story of possible promotion from the Conference to the top flight in under a decade will come into it on the day.
He continued: “No, because I don’t think it works like that.
“Whoever ends up winning, people can spin the story that way and I think with both of these teams, both can argue that they deserve it, both can say they’ve been through tough times.
“In the end only one can come out on top, so it’s going to be whoever deserves it on the day.”
When talking about how he has been preparing for a contest which is dubbed the richest game in world football, Luton now a mere 90 minutes away from taking their place at the top table of English football for the first time in over 30 years, and pocketing around £100m in the process, Edwards added: “I try and keep a clear head, but I know the magnitude of the game, we all do, the lads do as well.
“There’s no point in not talking about it, there’s nothing wrong with that and I think I’ve said openly, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming and aiming for it.
“We’re there now, within touching distance, it’s one game, so we know we’re capable and there’s nothing wrong with that side of it.
“But the one thing that we need to make sure we do is be the best version of us.
“We have to prepare as normally as possible, we have to work as hard as we always do, we have to be as organised as we always are and if we get those bits right then we stand a chance.
“The basics that people talk about all the time, if we get carried away and forget all of that stuff, then you’ve got no chance in a game like this.
“So my job is to make sure we concentrate on the stuff we can control which is around the training ground, the pitch, what we do, the focus on that and I think we’ve done that so far.”
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