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Club News

Watch | Rob Edwards on Chelsea defeat

30 December 2023

Club News

Watch | Rob Edwards on Chelsea defeat

30 December 2023

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Rob Edwards hailed his side’s performance against Chelsea as the best he’s had as a manager – and despite the 3-2 defeat, stressed that it shows his Hatters’ growth as a Premier League team since a 3-0 reversal at Stamford Bridge in August.

Town went 3-0 down to a Cole Palmer double and one from Noni Madueke, but fought back to score twice in the last ten minutes through Ross Barkley and Elijah Adebayo, who also had a goal disallowed and headed against the crossbar – as did strike partner Carlton Morris.

“I think that’s the best performance I’ve ever had as a manager of any one of my teams – that’s how good I think it was, the players were amazing today,” said Edwards.

“Goals change people’s perceptions of the game a little bit, and because we went 3-0 down and people – and not our fans, they get it, they see it, the ones who were here will understand – but because we went 3-0 down people might have the perception ‘Oh, they didn’t get going until later on’.

“But we got going straight away today. We were just up against a team who had brilliant individuals and in certain moments today, whether it was a little bit of a mistake from us, or a little bit of quality, you end up 2-0 down at half-time, but we were excellent, really aggressive in our press, really brave with the ball, we took the ball.

“It was hard in the final third to create too much in the first half. They’ve got world class players there and they were able to just snuff things out and deal with the set pieces, deal with our threat.

“We tweaked one or two things at half-time, not positionally, but put different people in certain places. We didn’t feel we needed five defenders on today, we felt we could be brave and they really had a front four, so we went to four defenders and moved Chongy higher.

“We felt Chieo could have an impact on the right hand side, and I think the subs had a real impact on the game.

“We were in the ascendancy when we conceded the third, and that was the frustrating thing because it could have been avoided as well.

“But when there could have been a little bit of a lull because supporters could think it ‘It’s 3-0, it’s Chelsea, the game’s done today’, these lads keep going. They keep going and they found a way to get back in the game, keep the ascendancy and then really start creating chances.

“In the end it was wave after wave and chance after chance, and that was really exciting to see. I thought we were really entertaining, really good with the ball, had more of the ball than Chelsea – come on, that’s growth, isn’t it? That’s us improving.

“Brilliant pressing, really brave. The back three along with Thomas – all of the lads, because they had to go one v one – but to do that as the last line against world class players, that’s brave.

“Teden, Gabe and Amari’i there, to go one v one against those players, that’s really, really special.

“So lots to like today, but we’ve been here before where we’ve come away with nothing against a team that has won the Premier League countless times, the Champions League and all that sort of stuff.

“They are a big, big football club, but to see where we’ve come from in game two against them, to here now, I think just shows the growth in the players, the belief in the players, and hopefully it allows everyone to believe that we are going the right way about our business and we are moving the right way. I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season.”

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