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Lockyer wants to mark his 100 game milestone for ‘special’ Hatters with a Black Cats victory

Hatters defender Tom Lockyer would love to mark his 100th appearance for the club by leading Luton to a win in their Championship play-off semi-final first leg fixture against Sunderland tomorrow evening.

The 28-year-old has taken longer than he would have hoped to rack up three figures, playing just 23 and 33 games in his first two seasons after joining on a free transfer from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2020.

He was left out of the first four matches this term, but after getting a chance against Swansea City in August, hasn’t looked back, becoming one of the first names on the teamsheet, going on to start 39 of the next 42 matches and earn a place in the Championship Team of the Year as well.

Town defender Tom Lockyer enjoys scoring against Middlesbrough recentlyTown defender Tom Lockyer enjoys scoring against Middlesbrough recently
Town defender Tom Lockyer enjoys scoring against Middlesbrough recently

The centre half, who has netted five times, also walked away with five prizes at the Hatters’ end of season awards evening as on his own personal landmark, he said: “It was only the other day when I looked and I was on 99, so it’s nice to see I can get to 100 appearances for a special club like Luton, hopefully we can mark it with a win.

“I like playing football, playing football injury-free is probably the best way to put it.

“It’s probably the best I’ve felt in a season, so feeling good, but there’s a lot of lads in the same position as me.

“Hopefully we can all come together and handle the occasion and it’ll be a good day.

“It’s fun isn’t it, it’s exciting, I’m sure all the fans feel the same.

“There’s been a great atmosphere in camp this week, erring on the side of caution not to get injured and trying to train hard at the same time.

“So it’s been a good week, it’s been fun, this is the business end of it and this is why we play the game.”

Asked what his best game for the Hatters has been during the 99 so far, there was one that immediately stuck out for the Welsh international, that being the trip to Bloomfield Road this term, when he, and his fellow defenders, produced a magnificent performance to come away with the most hard-fought 1-0 victory.

He continued: “There’s a couple that stand out.

“Blackpool away this season is probably my favourite.

“A typical 1-0 away win, makeshift, me and Breesy (James Bree) at centre half, everyone put their bodies on the line and that’s the type of game I love.

“If we can do that away at Sunderland that would be great as well.”

When pushed on what had been his worst memory to date, he added: “I don’t actually feel like on the day we played too badly, but obviously the scoreline for the fans was one that really hurt, the Watford away game.

“If you watch the game back, I don’t actually think we were that bad, and we had quite a few good performances there, but there were just mistakes in the game.

“Four-nil in a local derby, none of the fans care how well you played, so that was probably the one.”

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