Luton boss Rob Edwards has revealed captain Tom Lockyer is already getting bored during his rehabilitation at home, but insists their upturn in results has nothing to do with his recent cardiac arrest.
Lockyer collapsed after he suffered a cardiac arrest during the Hatters’ clash at Bournemouth on December 16, which was subsequently abandoned.
Captain Lockyer has since been discharged from hospital after an implantable cardioverter defibrillator was fitted and watched on from afar as his team-mates beat Newcastle and Sheffield United before Chelsea’s visit on Saturday.
“I speak to him every day. He is progressing. He seems bored already, but in generally good spirits, which is really good,” Edwards told a press conference.
“He was taking the mick out of my Christmas trainers against Sheff United, so yeah he is doing well.
“I think we were tight already, I don’t think it is because of what has happened that we’ve won two games of football.
“Performances have been good before that but they’re an incredibly tight group these lads and they’re like a family.
“And obviously one of the family had a really tough time a couple of weeks ago, so we all have to rally round each other, support each other and help. If that has brought us tighter, then good but the main thing is Tom in all of this.”
Luton’s Boxing Day victory at Sheffield United was marred by Carlton Morris being subjected to alleged racism by a spectator in the home crowd at Bramall Lane, which was reported to South Yorkshire Police.
Edwards said: “Carlton is OK, I texted him the day after.
“Obviously it is hard for me to really have that empathy for him because I’ve never been in that situation.
“Most of the times I am able to empathise with a player if it is injuries or being out of the team, whatever it is.
“This I can’t and I said to him the day after, ‘I can’t imagine how it feels,’ and he got more stuff on social media that night after the game.
“And the sad thing is when he texted me back, he said ‘it’s OK, I know the protocols, we know what to do,’ and I think that’s pretty sad.
“It happens so regularly he just said, ‘it’s like water off a ducks back’. So, I just think that’s really sad. I can’t put myself into his position on this situation, but he’s dealt with it very well.”
Luton lost 3-0 to Chelsea in August but Mauricio Pochettino’s young team have struggled for consistency, while Edwards’ team have won two of their last four fixtures at Kenilworth Road.
“I have got the utmost respect for Mauricio Pochettino, he is one of the best managers in the world,” Edwards added.
“Look, we’ll expect the best Chelsea as we expect the best of every team.
“We’ll try to perform as well as we can and try to play to our strengths.
“We know at home we can be a match for anyone.”