Boss looks ahead to Millwall tie
After creating history by beating Norwich in the last round, boss Paul Buckle knows his side have a squeak of re-writing the record books again when they host Millwall on Saturday.
The Town know a victory against the Lions in the FA Cup fifth round tie will make them the first team from outside the Football League in 99 years to reach the quarter-final of the world’s most famous cup competition.
Preparation for a game of such magnitude hasn’t been easy, though. With players unavailable through suspension, ineligibility and – potentially – due to industrial action, will rob the boss of several of his squad for the televised game with the Lions.
“It’s been unbelievable really,” Buckle told Hatters Player. “It’s been an unbelievable season in that respect. Our preparation and what we have had to contend with players being unable to play hasn’t been easy, but that’s not going to take away the fact there’s going to be a massive buzz here on Saturday.
“After Tuesday’s game with Dartford the boys came in and had a cool off on Wednesday and we’ve had two days to prepare for Millwall on Thursday and Friday whereas Millwall haven’t had that luxury.”
Both sides head into the tie off the back off a defeat in their respective league matches but Buckle knows that the confidence gained from beating Wolves and Norwich in the previous two rounds will stand them in good stead.
“I’m over the Dartford result now,” said the boss. “It was disappointing. However, I don’t want our supporters to think we’ll just brush a defeat like that under the carpet. We haven’t. We’re hugely disappointed we lost but football is about highs and lows. The next game is always the most important. That happens to be an FA Cup tie with Millwall and that’s what we’re focused on.
“You always want to bounce back, and whenever we have had disappointing results this season we have responded well. What better way to bounce back than in front of a full house at Kenilworth Road in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
“We know we need to brush up our form in the league but we’ve lost two of the last three games by the odd goal and we know we should have beaten Forest Green.
“We need to make sure we’re on it on Saturday, but we’ve got a lot of good things going for us. We’ve made silly errors in league games against Barrow and Dartford and none against Premier League or Championship teams. That shows me we’ve got good players here. That proves it.
“On Saturday we know we have one opportunity at making history again and to do that we’ll need a bit of luck, our supporters behind us and for us not to make a mistake. Then anything can happen.
“We’ve got to embrace it. The [ESPN] cameras will be at the game for a reason, because they feel there might be an upset. We know the quarter-final is in the next round and it’s our chance to make history again.
“Norwich and Wolves have been big but this game is massive.”
The Hatters remain unsure if defender Wayne Thomas will receive international clearance from the Greek Football Association in time to make his debut.
Buckle has Alex Lawless back after a one-match ban but the manager will remain without Lathaniel Rowe-Turner who sits out the last match of a three-game suspension.
Steve McNulty, Scott Neilson, Simon Ainge and former Millwall winger Dave Martin are all cup-tied.