Manager Rob Edwards used his pre-match Press conference to praise the 2020 board and the Luton Town managers who have gone before him when asked to reflect on the 14 years since relegation from the Football League was confirmed.
Today marked the 14th anniversary of the day that the Hatters - then managed by Mick Harford - were officially condemned to Non-League football during the 2008-09 season, having been hit by a record 30-point deduction for breaking financial rules under previous ownership.
With his team sitting third in the Championship table ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rotherham, Edwards was asked to reflect on the turnaround from five years outside the EFL before John Still led the Town to Conference title success in 2013-14.
“It’s an amazing turnaround from some really dark times, and a lot of key figures have put in a heck of a lot of hard work in to turn the club around and help get it to the point where we’re in now,” said the 40-year-old, who replaced Nathan Jones in November.
“We’ve only been in for 20 league games, so we are at the crest of that wave at the moment. We are extremely lucky and benefiting from all the hard work that everyone’s put in through some really dark times to turn things around – and that’s everyone.
“Whether that’s managers – Stilly getting that promotion from the National League – which is arguably the most difficult one to do. All the hard work and the promotions that Nathan and Mick, who’s sitting behind me now, and everyone at board level have done as well.
“I need to make sure I recognise those people, because we’re here at this moment right now we’re experiencing some really good times, it’s important that you recognise all of the people that put all of the ground work in when the club was on its knees and have helped turn it around. It is an amazing story.”
The Hatters go into the trip to the New York Stadium with a nine-point buffer to the sides just outside the play-offs, with second-placed Sheffield United five points ahead with a game in hand.
Edwards said: “All we can do is try to win the next game and that’s all we’re focused on. To be honest that is genuinely all we can do. We are aware of where we are, and where everyone else is, even if other people don’t have us in third. It’s one to enjoy at the moment. Let’s look forward to the next game and keep going.”
The former Wales international has said consistently that he and his staff wanted “to be in mix with five games to go”.
“Well, I didn’t tell you what we wanted to be in the mix for!” he smiled when reminded of the quote, and the position his side are in with that number of matches remaining in the season.
“We’ve got five games to go and we’ll keep our foot down and see what happens. We’re in good shape, it is pleasing how the lads have done, and how they’ve been throughout the whole season.
“Let’s be honest, they were in great shape when we came in and we have continued to do well, so long may that continue.
“We know now we are at the real business end of the season and every game is huge, so this one now becomes the biggest game for us of the season, and that’s all we are going to focus on.
“But it’s great that we are in the position that we are in, but we want to maintain good form. I think that’s really important now, maintaining good form for if it is going to be the play-offs is really important as well.”