Luton captain wants an FA Cup run despite the potential fixture backlog it will create for Town

Skipper hopes to see off Harrogate and get a plum fourth round draw

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 8th January 2022, 8:27 am
Updated Saturday, 8th January 2022, 8:30 am
Town skipper Sonny Bradley
Town skipper Sonny Bradley

Town skipper Sonny Bradley is targeting a cup run this season despite the fixture backlog that it could create for the Hatters.

Luton were hit recently with having to postpone four matches over Christmas due to outbreaks of Covid in both Town's and their opponents’ squads.

It has meant that January will see the Hatters play six times in 21 days after both the clashes against Reading and Bristol City were rearranged for midweek slots this month.

A win over Harrogate in the third round tomorrow would see the trip to Peterborough United on February 5 have to be rescheduled, as Luton are still awaiting new dates for their visits to both Swansea City and Coventry City.

However, Bradley wants Luton to go as far as they can in the competition, especially seeing as supporters missed out on a trip to Premier League Chelsea last term due to crowds not being allowed in stadiums because of coronavirus restrictions.

He said: “The current situation, with the amount of games we’ve got to play, to us, we don’t see that as a negative at all.

“It’s absolutely no excuse, it’s going to be pretty similar now for all the clubs in the league.

"There’s a couple of lucky ones who have been able to play their games, I think the majority of the teams now are in the same boat where you’re going to have to play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday.

“For us we don’t see that as a massive problem, we’ve got a fairly big squad and players that can play different areas as well, so it’s going to be tough, but we’re certainly looking forward to the challenge

“It is what it is, we’ve shown in the past that we can play a good amount of games in a short period of time, and get good results as well.

“It’s a game we want to win, we want to go on a cup run.

"We want to get drawn against some of the biggest clubs in England and give it a go.

“At first we’ve got to beat Harrogate, we’re not looking past it.

“We have to approach it in the right manner if we want to win the game.

“If we do do that, then we can hope we get a big team or another team that we feel are really beatable, to go on a cup run.

“We’ve played against big clubs last season, in Chelsea and Manchester United, obviously in different cups, but the fans weren’t there.

“I know we’ve spoken about this, but it was incredibly frustrating.

“We didn’t get the full experience, we got the experience of playing at Stamford Bridge and playing against a Manchester United squad at home, but the fans missed out on it.

“They had to watch it at home, so I’m sure the fans would agree with me that they want to go on a good cup run.

"Let’s try to beat Harrogate and then let’s try to get one of the big teams, either away or at home, preferably away, to give the fans a proper day out, like they deserve.”

Before Luton’s period of inactivity, they had been starting to hit some form with a fine 3-0 win at Blackpool followed by an excellent 1-1 draw at home to promotion chasing Fulham.

Although a point was a decent return against the expensively-assembled Cottagers, Bradley felt it could have been more as he demanded there not be any more similar hard luck stories this term.

He continued: “We were (on a good run), Blackpool was a good clean sheet and then the Fulham game, it’s a draw when, arguably, that could’ve been a win.

“I think there’s been a few too many times this season where we’ve said that.

“We’ve lost games we could’ve won, we’ve drawn games, like Forest away, for example, we should’ve won.

“We can’t let that be the story at the end of the season.

“We’ve got to turn those draws into wins and the more times we do that will give us a better chance to be up there come the end of the season.”

With other sides in action over Christmas it has seen the Hatters drop to 16th in the table, as they are now 11 points adrift of the play-off places, although current sixth place occupants Huddersfield have played four games more.

Bradley did feel his side were well placed to make a concerted push in the second half of the campaign though, adding: “We’re in a good position.

"Teams have been playing whilst we haven’t but we’re in a good place in the league and within our squad.

"Overall, on the first half of the season we have had some really good results, we’ve had a good amount of clean sheets and we’re scoring some good goals, a lot more than we have in previous seasons, so you can certainly see we’re improving.

"Hopefully we catch up on our games and then go and have a good second half of the season, as I still think there is a good chance of us reaching our goals.

"It is just about continuing with a good attitude, a good mindset and putting in a real good shift in the second half of the season to achieve what we want to achieve.”