Despite the fresh news that Everton's Premier League points deduction had been reduced from 10 to six, Luton Town manager Rob Edwards was relatively unfazed.

Ahead of welcoming Manchester City to Kenilworth Road in FA Cup Fifth Round action, the Hatters boss credited working around a league table that featured no deductions at all as his reasoning for seeing through the confusing drama.

Edwards aptly side-stepped potentially distracting headlines and focussed on Pep Guardiola's Cityzens and the status of his much-depleted side of late.

  • Squad news

While the withdrawal of Alfie Doughty last Wednesday was dismissed, another against Liverpool, Albert Sambi Lokonga, was deemed a little more serious. However, the Belgian on loan from Arsenal allegedly won't be sidelined for too long. 

"Hopefully it’s only a couple of weeks. We had good news on the scan. The injury is there, and we’ve got to make sure that he feels right and that he’s strong and ready to go. This one will clearly be too early tomorrow, and he’ll probably be touch and go for the weekend.”

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While Lokonga's news was positive, it was hard to look past the ever fluctuating list of injured Luton players. It's a list that striker Elijah Adebayo just recently joined, frustratingly in the face of a hot run of form.

“(Elijah)'s still out. There’s a good number of teams that have players and important players missing at the moment. Obviously Issa Kabore’s not available because it’s his parent club. We lost Sambi at half-time against Liverpool. That adds on to Browny (Jacob Brown), Marvelous (Nakamba), and Tom Lockyer - so we’ve got eight really important players missing or unavailable. So we recognise that this is a very difficult game anyway. It’s a very important game, but we’ve got a really important one on Saturday against Aston Villa in the league so we’ve got to try and manage everyone in the best way possible.”

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 “We hope he will be (back for the weekend), but again he’s not been training with us so time’s running out on that one.”

  • Thoughts on welcoming City to Bedfordshire for the second time this term

While playing Manchester City is a much-anticipated fixture for any side, being drawn against them in the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round had some journalists questioning the importance of the competition and how Edwards sees it. Especially amidst a mini back-catalogue of injuries, does this City welcome have the same weight as league games? While Premier League status is important, Edwards raised a common mantra: the next game is always where focus lies regardless of competition.

“We love the FA Cup. I love the FA Cup. We’re playing Manchester City, so if I start going around and make too many changes against arguably the best team in the world - then it could be a very long night for us. It will be a long night for us anyway, so yeah, the next game is the most important for us. So we’ll try to play the team we think is the strongest one available to us to try and win the game.”

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“We know it’s going to be a challenge to progress, but we’re looking forward to that challenge. It’s brilliant to go up against the best players in the world. We experienced a little bit of that the other night as well (against Liverpool) and it makes me hungry, it makes us hungrier as a football club to keep progressing and getting better.”

Luton's hunger for progress and self-betterment may be slightly fulfilled whatever the result on Tuesday night, however, the club's record in the competition points at a challenge against City. Luton are looking to reach the FA Cup quarter-final for the first time since 1993-94. The wait could be extended given the wealth of talent at the Sky Blues disposal. Edwards spoke on Manchester City's depth and even Jack Grealish - a man who scored in the Premier League fixture in December. 

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“We try and predict the team and it doesn’t really matter who comes in for them. They’re world class players aren’t they? They’re top international football players who are world class. Whoever Pep selects. I think Jack (Grealish) was on the bench against Bournemouth so whether he’s available now… he could. Whoever comes in will be pretty good.”

  • Merseyside in mind: Edwards talks Everton and praise from Klopp

Of course, as was mentioned in the opening of this article, Everton's points deduction being lessened was a point of discussion. The Hatters boss addressed the topic coolly.

“We’ve been going off the league table with no deductions anyway, so it makes no real difference. We were in the bottom three before it, and now it looks like we’re behind with four points and a game in hand. Our situation is the same really, in our point of view. The point deduction can’t be the thing that keeps us in the league, we’ve got to make it in our hands. That’s what we’ve got to try and do. In a way, it’s good there’s a bit of clarity.”

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Moving from the blue side to red, Edwards looked back on a learning curve at Anfield - and reacted to Jurgen Klopp's praise that the former Welsh international had done an "insane job" at Luton.

“It’s really nice, obviously. It’s very humbling, very nice. Obviously, it’s a team effort. I never want to try and take that praise myself, but it is very nice. It’s good because I think it’s recognition for the players as well and the job that they’re doing. I think it’s really good for a football club because when I think someone like that, whose opinion is going to be very valid and well-respected - it’s quite nice because there were obviously a lot of opinions on us very early on."

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  •  Unlucky for some... Edwards looks ahead to final 13 PL fixtures of the season

That's right, while 13 can be a blot for the superstitious - Luton look to make their own luck. Rob Edwards addressed the last chunk of ever-important games, as Premier League status continues to be an underlying point of conversation.

“13 in the Premier League we’ve got left. We’re in a good spot. We’d love to be above that line at the moment but we’re not. We’re in the mix, and yeah we’ve had a couple of tough results, but performances in the main are looking good. I thought we were excellent against Manchester United last time out (at Kenilworth Road). I thought we were really good against Liverpool, they were just better than us. Especially in that second half. So, we’re still confident. It’s not like we’re performing badly and losing."

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"I think a lot of people are actually recognising the performance levels are good as well. It’s hard to get wins in this league but the best way of doing that is by performing well. If we don’t perform well, then we’ve got no chance. So, at least we’re giving ourselves a chance at getting results, which is all we can do.”