Pressure all on Chelsea with Luton relishing ‘caviar’ FA Cup clash

Luton boss Nathan Jones believes all the pressure is on Chelsea as the two sides meet in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday night.

The Hatters have put together a run of seven wins from their last nine games in all competitions but Jones has described Wednesday’s tie as the “caviar” compared to the “bread and butter” of the league.

Chelsea were defeated on penalties in the Carabao Cup final at the hands of Liverpool on Sunday and will be looking to avoid back-to-back cup defeats in the space of a week.

Jones said: “It’s a free hit but it’s not a free hit. If we lose to Chelsea then I’m not getting sacked.

“Wednesday’s a bit of Caviar and Saturday’s the bread and butter.

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“The pressure is more on Chelsea because there is only one upset but we’re seeing it as an opportunity to challenge, test and to do something special because everything we are doing is a little bit special because of our resources.”

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The two sides met each other in the fourth round of last year’s FA Cup at Stamford Bridge and were 2-0 down in the opening 20 minutes before going on to lose 3-1.

But the 48-year-old feels there are a number of different factors in this year’s meeting.

Jones added: “It’s a different game because it’s at our place and Kenilworth Road is a much different place to Stamford Bridge. A full Kenny (Kenilworth Road) is far different to an empty Stamford Bridge.

“If you mess about with Premier League sides then they hurt you, they have quality. It was learning curve for us because we didn’t start particularly well.

“We like testing ourselves against top-of-the-table teams, against a higher league and we have always enjoyed that.”

Luton currently sit in the Championship play-off places in sixth, having been one of the form teams in the league since the start of 2022.

Jones thinks his players’ positive attitude have not let their cup commitments distract them from their league goals.

He said: “The key to it is, we have a full squad buying into everything we do, no egos, no sulkers and thinking we’re bigger than what we have.”

Town had previously come up against two lower-league sides in the form of Cambridge and Harrogate in the earlier rounds but now become the underdog as they face the European Champions.

Jones added: “That’s the beauty and the romance of the cup. We always speak about the romance of the cup and to draw another Championship side will give us a 50:50 chance of winning – but there is no romance in that.

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“We enjoyed Harrogate, then Cambridge, our local rivals and now Chelsea for the second time in a year we come up against them.

“(They are a) massive side, great manager and a squad that’s through the roof, current World Club champions, it’s brilliant.”

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