EPL

Rob Edwards hopes Luton can use late point at Crystal Palace as ‘springboard’

By Sports Desk March 09, 2024

Rob Edwards wants his Luton side to use Cauley Woodrow’s dramatic late leveller as a “springboard” after the substitute scored in the final minute of stoppage time to rescue a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

The relegation-threatened Hatters were seconds away from a fifth-straight Premier League defeat when Woodrow nodded ex-Eagle Andros Townsend’s delivery past Sam Johnstone’s left post to draw Luton within three points of 17th-placed Nottingham Forest.

It seemed an unlikely result on an afternoon at Selhurst Park in which the hosts managed 21 shots to the visitors’ eight, but instead conceded in the final 15 minutes for a Premier-League leading  21st time.

Edwards said: “I wouldn’t say (that goal) was a turning point, that wouldn’t be the word I’d use.

“We’ve been performing well, obviously results have been against us lately, but that can happen against Manchester United, Liverpool, Villa.

“We played well in those games in big spells, but I wouldn’t say turning point, but hopefully springboard. I’d use that.

“Hopefully it garners a lot of belief. We’re up against it at the moment.

“I know there’s a lot of clubs suffering with injuries, but it’s hard for us with so many players missing, and then to lose two centre-backs during the game as well.

“We’ve got a lot of square pegs in round holes out there towards the end, and to find a way when we’re not our best away from home, to drag a result out, is huge.”

Woodrow had been an 81st-minute replacement for Gabriel Osho, who Edwards revealed had taken a knock to his knee, while Teden Mengi was replaced by Daiki Hashioka.

Luton remain in the relegation zone with 21 points, three fewer than 17th-placed Forest, who play Brighton on Sunday.

Palace were eight points clear of Saturday’s opponents ahead of Oliver Glasner’s third game in charge, and had plenty of chances to extend the distance between them and other relegation-threatened sides – including a late Odsonne Edouard chance that clipped the crossbar.

Austrian Glasner encouragingly found plenty of his own fingerprints across Palace’s performance until the final 30 seconds of the contest.

He said: “In this one situation we didn’t do it. We have to accept the result.

“It hurts. It really hurts today but sometimes you have to feel this hurt then you develop and learn from it, and we will learn from it to be active and keep the opposite team out of our box until the referee ends the game.”

Glasner will not be paying too much attention to Palace’s record of conceding late when the team travel to Spain for a warm-weather camp in the international break, believing dwelling on it to be detrimental to improvement.

He added: “We won’t talk too much about it.

“Sometimes it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“If you always drive a car, you’re afraid of having an accident. If you go down the stairs and you are always afraid to fall down, it will happen.”

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