Manager Rob Edwards admitted he’d be a liar if he said he didn’t look at the league table before big games, as the Hatters prepare to head to automatic promotion favourites Sheffield United on Saturday.
The Blades sit second, seven points above third-placed Middlesbrough and ten above the Town, who travel to Bramall Lane in fifth position for what is billed as the Sky Bet Championship’s game of the weekend.
Town are three points inside the play-off places, and speaking to the press this lunchtime after training, he was asked if he studied the table before matches as we enter the final two months of the season?
“I look at it, and I’ve not shied away from that, I've said that after the games,” said Edwards. “I think everyone will be aware of it, everyone will do things differently. I think people that say they're not looking will be lying. Everyone will be aware of it.
“How much you refer to it, talk about it, lean on it, use it for motivation or not is down to you and your own group.
“But the lads are all aware. The boys have shown that, last year, they've been able to make the play-offs, and this year is very, very tight and competitive again.
“I’ll maintain what I've been saying consistently throughout; with five games to go we want to be in there, in the mix. We've got a lot of difficult games to come, but every game now it's going to be tough because a lot of teams are fighting for something, whether that's promotion or relegation.
“And the teams that you come up against in mid-table might be quite dangerous because they'll be playing for contracts or playing a little bit more free. So there's no easy game at this time of the season.”
The manager doesn’t expect central defenders Dan Potts and Reece Burke to be fit to return to action in south Yorkshire, but with an almost fully-fit squad, he recognises his selection process might cause a few headaches in the coming weeks.
“That's what we all want at this stage of the season,” said the manager. “It's been a really intense period for everybody. That’ll be no different from any opponents, and everyone's been feeling it a bit. People have been playing with knocks and pains, that's just par for the course, in the Championship especially.
“But to have pretty much a fully fit group going into every game, because every game is important, it certainly helps us. It gives me some difficult decisions, but they’re decisions that you want to be making.”
As well as singing the praises of Jordan Clark, as we have already reported on lutontown.co.uk this week in the wake of the midfielder signing a contract extension, Edwards was also asked about the impact of Aston Villa loanee Marvelous Nakamba in his month at the club so far.
“Marv has been great, and we knew he would be,” said Edwards. “He's got a lot of quality. At the level that he's played out and the experience that he's got, he's come in with a great attitude.
“He's wanting to play, he's wanting to help the group, he's come in straightaway and settled in with everybody. A real humble guy, and you can see that in the way he plays. I love him.
“He looks like what we needed and what we felt we needed to try and bolster that area of the pitch and give more options.
“He's brought exactly what we wanted, that tenacity in the way he gets up to the ball. He's aggressive, and very reliable when he gets the ball as well, so we're really happy with him.”