Buzzing Hatters boss Paul Buckle is expecting more of the same from Nuneaton when they visit Kenilworth Road in the first round of the FA Cup on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.
Boro were the last team Luton hosted as the pair squared up in the league three weeks ago.
That day the pragmatic visitors sad deep and defended in numbers as they looked to frustrate the Hatters and Buckle is expecting more of the same this weekend.
On how that recent meeting could effect things, he said: “It’s good for both sides in terms of knowing what’s coming.
“We’re not going to change our philosophy, we’ll go for the game, we’ll go to win the game from the first whistle as always.
“And I can’t see them changing their gameplan too much. Last time they came and stuck five behind the ball at the back.
“Three in the midfield behind it and tried to pick us off. It nearly worked for them, but like I said before, the game is 90-plus minutes long and if we have to wait again we will wait and be patient.
“I don’t expect them to be different at all, I think you’ve seen it, and you guys have seen it a lot longer than I in terms of teams coming to frustrate, coming to try and get our own fans on our back and it’s our job to come out of the traps.
“It’s our job to try and find the different solutions to break them down and at the moment with our return of goals, the boys have done really well.”
Having moved into second place and just one point of the top, Town are the new favourites to win the Conference title.
But far from being a distraction, Buckle is relishing the cup competition.
He said: “That just shows you, one second you’re written off the next moment you’re favourites.
“The important thing for us is the focus on each day’s training and every game that comes our way.
“That’s what we’ve been doing this season and I’m very pleased with what the players have shown so far.
“I don’t look that far ahead to be honest. I really enjoy the FA Cup.
“I said this when we were going up to Cambridge that it’s not a distraction from the league at all.
“Of course if you have a run you could fall behind in games, that’s not great. But at the same time we want to be in the FA Cup as long as we can.
“We probably know we’re not going to win it, we’d like to have a good run and it’s another big game for us.
“It’s an important game, the players are looking forward to the game because they are on a good run, because they’re in form collectively and individually and like I say we want to continue the run because we are certainly going in the right direction.
“FA Cup weeks always bring a buzz, I’ve always felt that as a player and as a manager.
“You are away from the league and it’s nice to have gone through against Cambridge, we’ve put on a really good show, we’ve been at it at the league as well and we are on a really good run.
“There is a buzz, we’ve got some momentum and we’re desperate to hold on to that.”
It does, however, bring its own challenges as the majority of Town’s loan players are again unable to play.
Simon Ainge, Connor Essam and Yaser Kadim are all again unavailable but Buckle is hoping Town’s other players will rise to the occasion as a result.
He added: “Again it’s the squad’s opportunity to show their versatility. The team may be (Lathaniel) Rowe-Turner or (Ronnie) Henry having to play at centre-half.
“These things have come our way this season whether it’s been through suspension or injury or what have you. But the lads have adapted brilliantly, they really have.
“Especially at home we’ve had to change the system during games because most teams come and sit right behind the ball and it’s not that easy, it’s not easy to play against.
“We know if we can break them down early they’ve got a lot to do, that’s always the gameplan for us.
“But I’m sure there’ll be no change in the approach this week probably from the opposition in terms of just getting numbers behind the ball and making life hard for us.
“I think the message always is, because the walls are quite thin at Kenilworth Road, let’s get the crowd on their back and all that. We’re used to that now.
“The boys are handling it really well. None moreso than our last home game at Kenilworth Road, but like I say we’re in good form and looking forward to the game.”
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Weather for Luton
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
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