Tomorrow night, Luton Town host Sunderland in the second leg of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final with the Hatters trailing the Black Cats 2-1 after the first leg, before Middlesbrough entertain Coventry City on Wednesday evening, with the two teams going into the tie goalless.
Here’s what the managers had to say…
Rob Edwards (Luton Town)
“We can do noise at Kenilworth Road”
‘You don’t want to be going home completely out of it and they’re capable at this place with all these fans here as well as the players they’ve got on the pitch to go bang, bang, bang and score a few goals. It’s in the balance and we look forward to Tuesday. We’re well aware they’re a very good team; they’re really good individuals.
“It’s half-time – we’re right in the tie. It was a really challenging game as we knew it was going to be, pretty tight, fantastic atmosphere. I thought we had the better of the first half and they had the better of the second half, it was a tight game.
“We can do noise at Kenilworth Road and we’re going to need it, we need to bring that. Their fans were well up for it tonight and I know our fans will be up for it on Tuesday. It’s half-time, I’ve got to stress that, we’re right in the game, everyone knows that. It’s 2-1 with 90 minutes at least of football to go, so we need everyone behind us for the whole duration of the game and the lads will give everything.”
Tony Mowbray (Sunderland)
“We won’t be protecting anything”
“We have to go to Luton now and go and try to win the next game. We’ve just said to them in there, ‘We have to go and play and try to win a football match’. We won’t be protecting anything, we won’t be trying to slow the game down, we won’t be putting loads of men at the back. We’ll be playing our game and going to try to win.
“We’ve talked about being the youngest team in the league and the lack of physicality in the team but we competed really well all over the pitch, the fans rose to that and could see the team tackling and we were almost like snarling dogs in the midfield at times winning the ball. Nothing has been achieved, of course.
“What we’ve got is some confidence going away from home, believing that we can win football matches and not have to sit in and hang on – we can score goals, if teams over-commit against us we can play through them or play round them. We’ll go to Luton and hope we can do just that, but we know they are a very good team.”
Michael Carrick (Middlesbrough)
“It’s a clean slate for both teams”
“I’m pleased with the boys’ effort. I thought we did a lot of good things in the game. It comes down a little bit to the chances. Just moments in games where I thought generally we played pretty well, and looked after their front line pretty well – which is not easy. We’ll have to do that again because they’re good players.
“It’s tough to say. I’m not sure how the game is going to go on Wednesday; it could be a totally different game. We always tell ourselves to expect the unexpected, and especially in this situation.
“It’s a clean slate for both teams really, and we look forward to another go next week. It’s in our minds where we know we’ve got good players at the top end of the pitch who are capable of scoring. Coventry defend very well, they get behind the ball and close the space down very well, and they have done over two games now. So we know it’s not going to be easy, of course. But, we’ve got to have belief and trust in what we do. We definitely have that.”
Mark Robins (Coventry City)
“They are they favourites”
“I said to the players we’ve still got a chance. This is how hard you’ve got to work to get to a Wembley final anyway. They’re the favourites now and rightly so – I think they’re favourites to win it anyway.
“We will look at it again, the third time we will play them in just over a week, on Wednesday, but we are in it and that’s the big thing.
“We know it’s tough but we are in there shouting but let’s see how we recover. It’s a big thing for us to recover, recover right, and we will endeavour to do that and go again on Wednesday. It is a decent position to be in going into the game on Wednesday Let’s see, but they’ve got the stronger squad which is why they are the favourites to go up, I suppose.”