New Telegraph

Townsend Believes Everton Victory A ‘Massive Psychological ‘Boost’ For Luton

Luton attacker Andros Townsend believes Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle United can be ‘massive’ psychological boost to his side in their battle to avoid relegation.

The Hatters had conceded stoppage time goals against Liverpool and Arsenal during previous home games, as they let three precious points slip from their grasp in the process, with the Reds equalising to claim a 1-1 draw and Declan Rice scoring a 97th minute winner for the Gunners.

After Townsend had put Town ahead against the Magpies with his first goal for the club, home supporters could have been forgiven for fearing the worst when seven minutes were added, but this time there was to be no cruel heartache, the hosts seeing the job through to claim a crucial triumph.

Speaking afterwards, the winger described just what it will do for the squad going forward, as he said: “I think it’s a massive psychological boost, a psychological hurdle. When it’s 1-0 and the time is ticking down, you see seven minutes added on, your mind does start to think here we go again.

“They have a few chances, but to get over that hurdle, the next time it happens, we’ll be thinking, we can keep this out, we can hold this out, we can score ourselves. So it’s a massive psychological hurdle, hopefully it’s standing us in good stead for the remainder of the games.

“It was stressful as we’ve been here so many times and let the lead slip, but the boys were excellent from the front, pressing from the front, the midfield, defence, the subs, the goalkeeper, who’s been great all season and we managed to find out a way to grind out the win.

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“We really needed it as you look at the other results, we really needed the three points and we’ll take it into Boxing Day which is going to be another tough game.”

Boss Rob Edwards agreed with the former Everton and Crystal Palace player, saying: “I felt more comfortable than in previous games when we’ve been managing the leads, Liverpool, or even the 3-3 scoreline against Arsenal. I felt that there was a real desire. We keep talking about it and hopefully we’re learning from any mistakes that we’ve made when we’ve been conceding late.

“I felt that there was a real desire to keep that clean sheet, we managed it well and kept that ball away from our goal as much as possible in those final few minutes, the lads deserve a lot of credit for that.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Ross Barkley felt Luton were fully deserving of their second home win this term and now urged his team-mates to try and put a run together starting at Sheffield United this afternoon, adding: “We’ve been unfortunate in the last however many games. We’ve put in great performances but just haven’t come away with anything other than the draw against Liverpool.

“We’ve been growing and against a top side, they weren’t really on it, but for us, we made it difficult for them and came away with the three points which was the most important thing.

“We made it difficult for them, other than their offside opportunity, I felt like they didn’t really have many clear cut chances. We stayed solid and stuck together as a unit, created chances and we were unfortunate with a few chances.

“We came away with the clean sheet and the win, now we’ve got a couple of big games coming up as well, so hopefully that gives us confidence to get two or three wins on the bounce hopefully.”

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