Edwards reported on the morale of his group, their availability, and looked ahead to the Bees. First though, the focus was on the reaction to that historic first Premier League home win against Crystal Palace and a subsequent Manager of the Month nomination.
Edwards' efforts recognised
Luton have enjoyed a bright spell of late. Perhaps quietly boosted by the points deduction placed on Everton, the Hatters have seemingly carried on regardless. Both goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski and manager Edwards have been recognised within this solid run of form.
“It’s nice recognition for the whole group - the whole club. I think success at this level is all relative. That point at Liverpool, running United close, and then getting an important win: it was a decent amount of points we picked up. We still want to get more, but it’s nice recognition for the whole group.”
“I’ve spoken quite a lot in the last few weeks, and now people are really realising and seeing it as well, the importance of our goalkeeper. I think for us to get results in this league, and it’s not being negative - it’s being realistic, we’re going to need our goalkeeper to make some saves.
“We want to protect him and limit that as much as possible of course. But again, looking at last week against Crystal Palace, they’ve got some brilliant players who could play for anyone in the league and a couple of times they created chances and we needed Thomas. When we did, he stepped up - and he did in previous weeks as well.
"I said this last week, it’s great for him to have the confidence and belief, and the backing of the fans. I think it can be quite a lonely position in goal. But yeah, we’re going to need our goalkeeper to be successful this year and he’s doing really well.”
How Town caught Palace...
(Regardless of the poor attempt at a Jam pun) Looking back on that famous 2-1 victory, Edwards spoke of the quality of his opposition and his emotions on the day. The win was vital, yet it was straight down to earth for the manager of the Bedfordshire club.
“We’re not getting carried away. It was a good result. It wasn’t a perfect performance by any stretch, it was a close game. We said that afterwards as well. Crystal Palace have got some brilliant players and they showed that at times. They played well and could’ve easily got something from the game as well. At the point of us getting that second, we were probably just edging it at that stage - we probably ended up defending it and they threw everything at us.
"They could’ve got something later on, but credit to the players for fighting to the win. It was an important victory, getting that first win at home was nice and a brilliant feeling. It was an important three points, now it’s been business as usual this week, preparing for the next game.”
With emotions running high on a prestigious occasion, the calm and collected act was quickly neglected. When asked if he kept his cool, Edwards laughed:
"Did you not see me? No I didn’t, I failed in that. We tried, tried to remain calm but there were a couple of moments, watching the game back and seeing myself halfway down the touchline. Trying to direct one or two people. The players by that stage are in the zone - and it’s probably limited what I was able to do. I failed in looking cool at that stage.”
After fondly reminiscing, it was time to look further forward to Saturday afternoon's action. Edwards provided some positive news for Luton fans as a number of injury updates emerged.
“Issa Kabore will be back after his concussion, which is a positive for us. One or two are then getting very, very close now and are in full training but probably aren’t ready to come straight into the game. Sambi for instance, and Potts. They’re good but not ready straight away to get into the squad."
“(Nakamba’s) knee, it was just a little bit swollen. There was a little bit of discomfort. We’ve had scans, we’re hoping it’s not too serious. We’ve been able to get him out on the grass at times this week. I don’t think he’s going to be quite right for this weekend but we’re very hopeful to see him back out there very soon. It’s a positive one, really.”
“Sambi will be fit very soon. He’s out there full training this week. He’s had the all clear, it’s just tomorrow will be too soon to put him straight into the matchday squad on a couple of days full training. So it’s just about building him up in the right way now.”
Buzzing about Brentford
While the objective was clear in trying to get whatever points available, Edwards was very quick to praise the Bees. Respect was one of many positive watch words from the Luton boss.
"(Thomas Frank's) done an amazing job. I think for me, he’s one of the best managers in the league. I think the four, five years he’s been there - there’s been incredible progression year upon year and I think he’s excellent. I think his team are really well organised, really well coached, they’re really clear in what they do.
“Within all that, the organisation and being well coached, they’ve got very, very good individuals as well. They’ve been able to improve year on year. It’s a really good model, I think. We do things our way, but they’ve got a really good model for us to aspire to.
“I’ve got nothing but admiration for Thomas Frank, his staff and his football club and what he’s done. It really is impressive.”
Focus is well and truly on the matter at hand
Even though Arsenal and then Manchester City pop up on the fixture list after this one in West London, Edwards reassured that those games are still addressed as another opportunity for Luton to prove themselves. When asked about the importance of this upcoming Brentford clash at the Gtech, Edwards was defiant when reiterating his team's trademark outlook.
“No. No matter who we have next - Brentford’s just really important. The next game’s the next opportunity for us to get points. We’ll be really respectful to them and we have been all week when we’ve been preparing for this game.
"They’re very good in lots of areas of the game. In possession, very clear. In transition they’re excellent, they’re really good defensively and organised and then very good with set-pieces. So, in all moments of the game, they’re really well coached. We’ve put all our energy and focus into this game. We’re aware of what’s coming next, but we can’t think about that yet. It doesn’t matter who we have after Brentford, as it’s the next chance for us to get something.”