‘These big games are what I look forward to’: Luton defender Tom Lockyer urges his team-mates to thrive off the raucous atmosphere in Championship play-off against Sunderland
- Tom Lockyer says Luton must not freeze at the Stadium of Light on Saturday
- The Hatters face Sunderland in the Championship semi-final play-off first leg
- Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray says adversity has helped gel his team together
Luton defender Tom Lockyer says the Hatters must not freeze under the raucous pressure of the Stadium of Light when they travel to Sunderland on Saturday in the play-off first leg.
Lockyer, who was in the Championship team of the season, has been a pivotal man for Rob Edwards’ third-placed side.
‘We have to thrive off the occasion or it will pass you by,’ said the defender, who has worked his way from the National League with Bristol Rovers to this level.
‘I’ve always enjoyed the bigger games and bigger atmospheres. These games are what I look forward to — you have to thrive on it. The game is on at half five so our fans will be in the boozer from about 9am! It’ll be a tricky one for sure.
‘They’ve got some incredibly talented players and we’re not taking it lightly.
Luton defender Tom Lockyer says the Hatters must not freeze at the Stadium of Light
Injury-hit Sunderland booked their place in the play-offs by beating Preston on the final day
‘Rob is a joy every day. It’s so fun coming into training every day. Since Rob and his team came in I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about them. All the lads have bought into what he’s trying to do here and you can see that with the togetherness on the pitch.’
Meanwhile, Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray is hopeful adversity has helped gel his team together.
His side have the youngest average age in the Football League and have also had an injury crisis towards the end of the season.
‘We’re sitting here now about to play against a pretty physical, strong, direct team who are very connected and work extremely hard for each other without really any central defenders,’ he said. ‘I hope it’s gelling us together, the adversity of it to bring in a team tighter together.’
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