EPL

Rob Edwards confident Luton can still stay up despite Brentford battering

By Sports Desk April 20, 2024

Rob Edwards backed Luton to respond after their Premier League survival hopes were dealt a devastating blow following a painful 5-1 home loss to Brentford.

The 18th-placed Hatters knew victory would take them out of the relegation zone, but they were undone at Kenilworth Road by a slick attacking display from a Bees side without Ivan Toney due to his ongoing hip issue.

Thomas Frank watched Brentford run riot with Yoane Wissa scoring twice in the first half before Ethan Pinnock, Keane Lewis-Potter and Kevin Schade netted after the break.

Luke Berry hit a stoppage-time consolation for Luton, but they remain a point behind Nottingham Forest in 17th and two off Everton ahead of those clubs playing at Goodison Park on Sunday.

“Yeah, I am deflated and I am hurting right now because of the manner of the performance. I have never really had to come out too many times all year and say that wasn’t us. Today it wasn’t us,” Edwards reflected.

“How I feel is we’re in this. Today was a bad day for us as a club but the teams directly above us play each other and we will not be out of it this weekend. It’s important we all remember that.

“What we have to try and harness now is the spirit, quality, fight and intensity we’ve shown that has kept us in and around it this season. We know we have to go and show that with four games to go.”

A raucous reception greeted both players, but Brentford could have scored three times before Wissa rifled them ahead in the 24th minute with a superb snapshot.

The brilliant Bryan Mbeumo had set up that chance and created the next for Wissa when his cross was scuffed home by the Bees forward in first-half stoppage-time for his 10th goal of the season.

While Edwards introduced Berry at the break, the visitors hit Luton with a double sucker-punch when Pinnock powered home a header from a Sergio Reguilon corner after 62 minutes before Lewis-Potter nodded in Mbeumo’s centre two minutes later.

Brentford substitute Kevin Schade slotted home a fifth after Mbeumo had set Vitaly Janelt away with four minutes left before Berry grabbed an added-time consolation, which was followed by applause at full-time from the Luton fans.

Edwards added: “I have got to say thank you to the supporters who stuck with us. I apologise to them as well for having to live through that. A difficult day for them. We don’t want to go through that again so we’ve got to respond.

“The players know there needs to be a response. As I say, we still have an opportunity to be in the Premier League next season and we don’t want to give that up easily. After today I am pretty confident we will respond in the right way.”

After Brentford moved on to 35 points and 10 above Luton, Brentford boss Frank said: “Of course it was an important game but it was still one of the next five.

“I also know it would be good to beat Luton because then that little sneaky feeling in the back of the head in this relentless league is more or less out of the question.

“Five games unbeaten now, we need to continue playing well and doing well to end the season on a high.”

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