No shocks in store for Luton after cup clash at Hillsborough last term

Sonny Bradley battles for the ball during Town's 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday last season
Sonny Bradley battles for the ball during Town's 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday last season

Playing Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup last season means that there will be no shock for the Hatters when heading to Hillsborough this evening, according to Luton boss Graeme Jones.

Although the Town chief was with his old club West Bromwich Albion then, a chunk of the Hatters team will have been in action against the Owls, holding their hosts to a 0-0 draw during the third round clash.

They went out of the competition in the replay at Kenilworth Road, losing 1-0, but Jones think that game will definitely benefit them.

He said: “Culturally there is going to be no shock.

“I think those type of things in the Championship help, we are all better for experience and hopefully that’ll be the case.”

Wednesday will be once again led by Lee Bullen, who was in the dugout for the cup clash, with Steve Bruce having been appointed, but not in charge of the game.

The 48-year-old is someone Jones knows well too, as he continued: “Lee took over last Christmas period and had a fantastic run of results.

“He’s a good man, Lee, and was very unfortunate not to get the job.

“I know Lee Bullen from our days in the Scottish Premier League, I used to play against him – an aggressive centre-half.

“Again, he’s shown in the first three games how competitive he is as a coach and how competitive the club is.

“It’s a huge football club, I was a Newcastle supporter and I remember the team going to Hillsborough and there were 48,000 people there.

“It’s a great football club and we went there last season in the FA Cup, so it’s not on unfamiliar territory, so I hope it’s a game that we are all looking forward to.”

Speaking about what kind of threat they can expect from their opponents, Jones said: “They play 4-1-4-1, a really aggressive press.

“They are really well organised, they know how to defend and they can hurt you on transition.

“They’ve got (Steven) Fletcher up front obviously with the direct ball, which gets them up the pitch and Hillsborough is one of the unique environments in British football.

“So all these things, all these variables, we have to deal with and that’s why everybody wanted to be in the Championship.

“It’s my job to prepare the group and make sure that they are psychologically, physically and tactically prepared for the game, and we will be.”

Prolific forward Jordan Rhodes is also in the Wednesday ranks having signed for £10m in July 2017.

He has found the net over 200 times in his professional career, and on the possibility of facing him, Jones, in his press conference yesterday, added: “Jordan Rhodes has just got this ability to score goals from nothing, he’s done that right through his Championship career.

“He’s a player I really like, an effective player, a player that everybody talks about what he hasn’t got, instead of talking about what he has got.

“Hopefully he doesn’t show those qualities tomorrow night.”