Luton chief doesn't expect his players to be fazed when going up against Champions League holders

Town striker Cameron Jerome is vastly experienced at top flight levelTown striker Cameron Jerome is vastly experienced at top flight level
Town striker Cameron Jerome is vastly experienced at top flight level
Town manager backs squad to be able to perform on the big stage

Hatters boss Nathan Jones doesn't expect any of his players to be fazed when going up against Premier League outfit Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round at Kenilworth Road this evening.

With Luton themselves having a number in their squad with top flight experience, including Cameron Jerome, Jed Steer, Henri Lansbury, Reece Burke and Robert Snodgrass, then they shouldn't be daunted by taking on the Champions League and World Club Cup holders.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Jones thinks having been involved in such big games can only help, as he said: "We hope so as we brought Cameron in because not only is he experienced, but he’s still super athletic as well.

"He is a specimen as he looks after himself, physically he’s a teenager, obviously after games he’s not quite a teenager, but going into games he’s a teenager and in the games he is.

"Then Robert’s been brought in one, for his vast experience, two, for his quality and then he gives us something different.

"So they will invariably settle us down, but it shouldn’t faze any of ours really as it’s a free hit, but it’s not a free hit because we don’t do that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"If we lose 2-1 to Chelsea, then I’m not getting sacked, god willing I’m not getting sacked.

"As long as we’re us then that’s all we can do, but it’s a great opportunity, that’s what we’re seeing it as.

"It’s no massive pressure, my chief executive (Gary Sweet) would like us to win the game so we can balance books, but the pressure is more on Chelsea as there's only one upset really.

"With us, we’re seeing it as an opportunity, not as a free hit, but an opportunity to challenge and test and to do something special because everything we're doing is a little special because of our resources."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although Jones will have watched the Blues' recent game extensively, due to it being a cup game and coming so quickly after their Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, second-guessing what kind of side boss Thomas Tuchel will pick is almost impossible.

The Luton chief continued: "You concentrate on yourself, that’s what we have to do.

"We have got to a point now where with the greatest of respect to everyone we play against, we concentrate on ourselves.

"We know how people play, we don’t change it up a lot.

"We were very pragmatic when I came back because we needed to get points, last year we matched teams up and exchanged a bit so we could really impact on people.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Now we believe we have a squad and a side, that can effect games playing our way, so that’s what we’ve got to do.

“We will give Chelsea the greatest of respect but no fear, we have to prepare how we do."

Although Town's league campaign has seen the Hatters eager to get on the front foot and press their opponents high up the pitch, Jones conceded that might not be quite the case from the word go against a team the level of Chelsea.

He said: "We may have to (change), you have to pay them the utmost respect, as they have world class players, 20 world class players and probably 25 internationals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"If you are in Chelsea’s squad and you’re not an international then you are either a really young lad or something's not quite right.

"They are a big side to come up against in every single level but we have to relish it.

"We have to try and be us as much as possible, we will need to ride our luck at times, we’re going to need god's will and we’re going to need to play very well.

"Whatever happens, we’re going to need to take any chances that might come our way."