3 Luton Town players who are pivotal for our play off hopes
Rob Edwards will be hoping for Luton to repeat last season's remarkable playoff achieving campaign, and at the moment this goal is still in sight. Luton sit 2 points off of West Brom, who leapfrogged us to climb to 6th after the weekend's result.
Qualifying for the playoffs this year looks to be tougher than last season due to the strength of the league increasing. West Brom and Middlesbrough are in great form, and unfortunately Watford look solid as well. Blackburn have forgotten how to draw, and seem to be alternating between wins and losses every week, and somehow Norwich are still in the mix. Yet if Luton get the strike partnership of Elijah Adebayo and Carlton Morris going, who knows what could happen. Below we look at three players who Luton can not be injured if Luton Town want any chance of reaching the playoffs.
Lockyer is always one of the Town's most reliable players, starting 21 out of 26 games so far in the league, playing 1859 minutes out of 2,340. His aerial dominance and channel balls are key to the way Luton like to play, and he maintains a solid 67% pass accuracy, considering his passes are often long. The Welsh international has quietly developed into one of the most underrated centre backs in the Championship, being 9th in the league for interceptions per game (1.9), 5th in the league for clearances per game (5.3) and 5th in the league for blocked shots per game (1). With the shortage of players Luton have at the back, Edwards must hope that Lockyer remains fit. He also acts as a natural leader in the centre of the back three, being very vocal during games, and exceptionally passionate with the fans after victories.
Wee Al' always seems to keep running until the 90th minute every game, and Luton will need his unrelenting attitude in the team as much as possible. The Scotsman is often deployed as the most advanced midfielder, and he always presses like a madman, is eager to engage in tackles, nick the ball with interceptions and is great at carrying the ball up the pitch. He pops up with the occasional goal as well, having got 2 goals laying on 2 assists so far this campaign. Campbell has started every single game so far this campaign, and while his performances haven't been quite as good as last season, it is obvious he has much more to give.
It is obvious that Luton will need to rely on one of the best strikers in the league a huge amount if we have any ambition of reaching the playoffs. Capable of creating goals out of nothing, like he did against West Brom at home and against Norwich away, the two footed forward has 11 goals and 5 assists in the league, meaning he has been involved in 48% of the Hatters goals this season. The main goal now is to develop the strike partnership with Elijah Adebayo, who is lagging behind on 4 goals, although he has scored 2 in 2 recently. Barring injury, Morris will always be the first name on the teamsheet, and he is absolutely vital to Luton's attack. Luton would do well to help Morris get to 25 goals in the league, and also for the rest of the attack (Cornick, Adebayo, Woodrow, Jerome) to step up too.
An honourable mention goes to Elijah Adebayo, who is in the process of replicating his form from last season that captured the hearts and minds of the Luton fans. He has started to up his goal contributions, and develop a partnership with Carlton Morris. James Bree was close to making this list, as he is joint league leader in big chances created with 13 (alongside Ryan Giles). However his inclusion would age poorly if he makes the move to Southampton, as rumoured. Jordan Clark provides excellent ball carrying and passing from midfield, and he compliments Campbell well. Here's hoping these players all step up to give Luton the maximum chance of repeating last season's finish.
By Samuel Roy