Town defender Naismith hopes to become a better player if he crosses swords with £97.5m Chelsea striker Lukaku in cup clash

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Centre half on going up against the Blues' international strike-force

Should Town defender Kal Naismith come up against Chelsea's Belgian international Romelu Lukaku in the FA Cup at Kenilworth Road this evening, he is intent on using the experience to help make himself a better player going forward.

The 30-year-old is looking to be part of a Luton team that is set to go toe-to-tie against an opposition brimming with world class players in every position, particularly upfront, with the Blues having attacking options such as Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic at their disposal.

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They also have Lukaku, who was in superb form for Inter Milan last term, netting 24 goals as they won a first Scudetto in 11 years, before Chelsea shelled out a club record £97.5m to bring him back to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku goes up against Virgil van Dijk in the Carabao Cup final on SundayChelsea striker Romelu Lukaku goes up against Virgil van Dijk in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku goes up against Virgil van Dijk in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday

He began in style, scoring four times in his first four outings, but since then has bagged just seven in 26 appearance, and is without a domestic goal since the 5-1 win over Chesterfield in the FA Cup back in January.

The former Manchester United striker also came in for heavy criticism after having a record low seven touches in a recent top flight match with Crystal Palace, but despite that, Naismith will look to glean anything he can from Lukaku on the pitch should they cross swords tonight.

He said: “It’s something you definitely get excited for as it’s a big challenge.

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"You see these players, you watch them week in week out against the best teams in the world, doing some unbelievable things, but at the end of the day, they’re footballers just like us.

"They’re obviously very good at what they do, but it's just an excitement to see where I’m at, if I do come up against Lukaku, see how well I deal with a player like that.

"What clever things would he maybe do that I’ve not seen before that I can then see and be a better player, it’s just excitement to play against those players.”

Naismith isn’t putting any expectations on himself or the rest of his side for the game though, with the Blues one of the favourites to life the trophy at Wembley later in the season.

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He continued: "We'll just go in excited and we're looking forward to showing what we can do.

"There’s no pressure on us, they’re World Club champions recently and it’s a team full of superstars.

"But listen, we've got good players, we’re not coming there just to give them a lot of respect and take it easy and let them to do what they need to do.

"They're coming to our place, it’s a tough place to come for any team, I truly believe that.

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"It will be a difficult game for them and if we’re at our best then let's see what happens.

"But there’s no pressure on the lads, it’s just a game we’re looking forward to, we’re excited for and we’ll try and go there and express ourselves."

Having said that, Naismith was staying optimistic that it will be the Hatters going through come full-time, as he said: "I’m not going to sit here and say that we’ll win the game, but we’re quietly confident and truly believe that with the fans behind us, at our stadium, the way we play at home, it will be tough for them, 100 per cent be tough for them.

"If the boys are at it, we can play the way we play, it will be tough and we’ll give them a real good game that’s for sure and I definitely believe that we can get through to the next round.”

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Although Town's main focus this week is Saturday's trip to fellow Championship play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough, before they go to Coventry next Tuesday night, Naismith admitted all attentions were fully on the Blues, adding: "It’s strange when you actually look at the two different games.

"Obviously Middlesbrough’s a huge game and the league is our bread and butter, we want to keep kicking on in that, but for footballers it’s different.

"For footballers you’re just looking game-to-game and you never want to get beat.

"We’ll be heartbroken if we get beaten by Chelsea, as good as they are, but it’s another game, it’s the only game we’ve got.

"That’s all the players will be looking at, we’ll be going out there to do our best and see where it takes us."

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