Hatters boss Paul Buckle insists his non-league FA Cup heroes will ‘relish’ the trip to Norfolk later this month to face the Canaries in the fourth round.
With Norwich slashing adult ticket prices to £10 and Under-16s being charged just £1, Luton look all set to take up their full allocation of 4,000 tickets for their first appearance in the FA Cup fourth round for six years.
Buckle is clearly hoping that the Hatters’ away following can re-create the kind of atmosphere that helped the Blue Square Premier side secure a famous, 1-0 win over Championship Wolves this weekend.
Luton – as Canary boss Chris Hughton was swift to acknowledge – have a rich cup tradition to call on, even if the footballing fates have been less than kind to them of late.
“When the fans get behind us like on Saturday, because we had nothing to lose against a Championship side, it can work wonders,” Buckle told BBC Three Counties Radio on the back of yesterday’s fourth round draw.
“Kenilworth Road was a scary place on Saturday, certainly for Wolves, and we got what we deserved.”
Certainly Hughton will be giving the visitors from the non-league every respect – even if the Canaries remain overwhelming favourites to progress to the next round.
“It will be a good cup tie and a great atmosphere, but it won’t be easy against Luton,” said the City chief.
“We’ve seen just what they can do with the way they knocked out Wolves, and although they are a team that has dropped out of the league, they have a good history in the FA Cup. It will be our responsibility to put on a good performance for our supporters and make sure we progress to the next round.”
The interesting point is today’s news re pricing after the Capital One Cup clash against Spurs prompted widespread comment that the club were asking too much of the supporters in these straitened times.
In fairness, ticket prices were dropped for the return of Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa in the next round and have been pegged back again for this tie – in every likelihood ensuring a bumper cup crowd with the atmosphere to match.
After all, 5,000 made the trip to Peterborough this weekend to see City’s comfortable passage into the fourth round draw via that 3-0 success.
Back at Kenilworth Road and boss Buckle is hoping that his players can take heart from the win over Wolves.
“We’ve had the experience at home against Wolves,” he said. “Now it will be nice for our fans to go to a Premier League ground, and for our players and our club it will be a great reward for our victory against Wolves.”
The fact that it was ‘only’ Norwich cut no ice with him; Buckle wasn’t buying into the ‘little ‘ol’ tag either.
“People talk about Man United, Arsenal, Man City or Chelsea, but it’s a Premier League club and it’s brilliant for us.”