FA Cup is no distraction for Luton chief

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton’s FA Cup first round clash with Portsmouth is definitely no distraction from the club's main goal of winning promotion this year according to boss Nathan Jones.

The Hatters take on their south coast opponents at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, with victory meaning Luton could face some fixture congestion as the season progresses.

With everything geared towards becoming a League One team this term though, Jones said: “If you asked me if I wanted to win the FA Cup or get promoted this year, realistically, it would probably do my reputation no end of good winning the FA Cup with a League Two team, but the be-all and end-all is us getting promoted.

“We don’t want things to distract from that, but this is not a distraction, this a real, real good game.

“It’s good for the fans, good for the football club and it’s a real mouthwatering tie.

“We’re looking forward to it and our players are too, they will want to bounce back as they bounced back in midweek.

“We don’t like to go consecutive defeats. We haven’t done that many times, but we’re really looking forward to it."

Although Jones knows the tournament has lost some of its glamour over the years, it’s still a competition he has a great affinity for.

He added: “I think like anyone who is my era and older, it’s a real nostalgic one and to be fair the FA Cup was the only game we were able to watch on TV.

“It’s held in high regard all over the world. I think it maybe lost a slight bit in the latter rounds as big Premier League teams, now with things like Champions League, slightly rotate in their earlier rounds, so do a few Championship ones as it’s so important in terms of getting to the Premier League.

“But I still think it’s held in massive regard as it has that nostalgia, that real excitement. Especially these ones now when non-league teams are in it and League One, League Two sides are striving to get to the third round and hopefully get a good draw.

“There’s no draw like it. Honestly, I think it’s more eagerly awaited than things like the Champions League draw, I really do.”