Hylton warns Chelsea stars to expect a 'hostile' and 'horrible' atmosphere at Kenilworth Road after admitting he 'hated' playing there for Oxford
The midweek trip to Kenilworth Road will be a world away from what many of the Champions League holders and World Club Cup champions have experienced before, as the famous old stadium is renowned for its tight confines, with supporters virtually on top of the players too.
Hylton had been in the Blues’ position twice earlier in his career when at Oxford United, beaten 2-0 and then drawing 2-2 when the two sides were competing in League Two.
Although he now loves to call the place home, having signed almost six years ago, the forward knows it won’t be a pleasant night for whatever team Blues boss Thomas Tuchel sends out to do battle.
Hylton said: “It’s never nice to come to Kenilworth Road, I used to hate coming here as an opposition player.
“It was hostile and wasn’t nice. I remember coming here and, going through the tunnel, they would abuse you.
“It is horrible and hostile and they get on you, it just wasn’t a nice place.
“I never used to like playing here, the pitch was tight, then when I signed here I love it.
“They make it like home, they really get on your side and they make it tough for the opposition.
“It’s Luton and we love them, but you can see why opposition players and teams don’t like coming here.
“I remember coming here and giving away a penalty.
“I tried to win a header after a free-kick I’d given away and I jumped, gave away a penalty and then got subbed off straight away.
“That was probably the highlight of me coming to Kenilworth Road.
“It was never nice, but I love being here and playing here because we believe we can beat anyone at home.
“We’ll try our best on Wednesday night against Chelsea.”
When asked how it will be for the likes of international stars Romelu Lukaku, Christian Pulisic, N’golo Kante and Jorginho, if picked, to head to the away dressing rooms, Hylton continued: “They certainly won’t be what Chelsea are used to.
“It’s tight, cold and very wooden and boxy, it’s not nice at all.
“Hopefully that can play into our hands on Wednesday.
“It won’t be nice and they’re coming off the back of a cup final defeat and morale might be down slightly.
“All this stuff is going to play into our hands and we’re going to need it on the day because they’re a top group of individuals and a top team, so let’s see what can happen.”
Boss Nathan Jones believes that a game for the Blues' stars will be a memorable occasion for them, even if for the wrong reasons, as he said: "They probably won't enjoy the changing room because it isn’t that appealing.
"But when you are a footballer, I remember playing at Wembley, playing at the Millenium Stadium, I remember playing against Osasuna in a packed stadium in northern Spain but I also remember going to Runcorn and Macclesfield, Torquay in the FA Cup and places like that.
"They all made a career so yes Timo Werner would have come through and played, Lukaku would have played at big stadiums but you don’t half remember these stadiums as well.
"That’s the beauty of the FA Cup and the beauty of English football.
"It's all part and parcel of a career and you don’t always remember the beauty spots, you remember the rough things you had to do.
"That breeds character, that makes a career."
With the game a sell-out then the Chelsea players can expect to be met with a wall of noise from the Kenilworth Road faithful when they take to the field.
Hylton urged the crowd to be on it from the very start and carry on throughout the 90 minutes to give the hosts any extra advantage possible, adding: “They’re going to be loud and full of beans on Wednesday night and it’s not going to be a nice place for Chelsea to come.
“We’re going to need them, so let’s hope we can give them something to cheer about.
“It’s going to be a great game, a great occasion and a nice distraction from the league.
“It will be a good day for the fans because last year against Chelsea there were no fans and against Man United there were no fans.
“It’s an occasion that they’ve earned as well so they can go and enjoy themselves.
“The crowd are going to be vital for making it as nasty as possible.
“It’s a game we’ll enjoy and we’ll give them respect but we’ll enjoy it more if we win."