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25 January 2013

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Henry, Shaw, Tyler and Lawless on cup tie

Four of the Town’s stars have told Hatters Player they hoping they can help cause a massive cup upset at Carrow Road on Saturday.

It promises to be fantastic spectacle as 4,000 Hatters fans travel to Norfolk and, for goalkeeper Mark Tyler, the occasion will be marked by a return to his boyhood club Norwich and he, more than most, can't wait for the kick-off.

“It's like a dream,” said the Norwich-born 35-year-old. “It's where it all started for me. Hopefully everyone will be proud of me when I step out there and I've got a few friends and family going so it will be a nice day for us.”

Days like these are a rarity for the Town squad and it’s an occasion striker Jon Shaw is keen to relish.

“Playing at Conference level for as long as I have, these days don't come around too often,” said the Town hit-man who assisted Alex Lawless for the match winner in the previous round against Wolves. “Some players won’t get to do this at any time in their career. For me it’s my second so they are days you have to go out and enjoy and remember because you never know when the next one is coming round.

“You hope for a slip up or an inch of space in their box, but we will take our shape and look to frustrate them a little bit. We've got great players in our changing room that can cause havoc so it will be an interesting game but there is no pressure it's just about going there and enjoying it.”

‘No pressure’ was the phrase echoed by many ahead of the tie which sees the Canaries host a Town side 85 places below them on the footballing ladder but FA Player of the Third Round Lawless is wary of the self-pressures the players commit too.

“The pressure is off compared to normal,” the Welshman said. “Everyone is aware of the pressures of being at Luton in the Conference. As a player there's always that pressure because you want to do really well but you don't want this to be the end of the road in the FA Cup. We have enjoyed the run, but I’d say it’s a nice pressure to have.

“It’s a nice challenge because you can see how excited everyone was after the Wolves game. You just imagine what it would be like to win again and then to think who you could get in the next round.”

Ronnie Henry will be given the honour of leading the Town out onto the battlefield on Saturday and, despite the gulf in league stature, the captain knows he and his team-mates will need to pay Norwich respect and that will need to be replicated by Chris Hughton's Canaries.

“We have to respect them because they are good players and they play in the top division - but we're good players as well so we need to go out there and give them some respect and make sure they respect us as well,” said Henry.

“It's going to be a great day for the club, the players and the staff and we're looking forward to it. We've got a couple of days to prepare for it and then we will go out there and give it our all.”

Shaw's partnership with fellow front-man Andre Gray has been pinpointed as one of the Hatters main threats in the build up to the game and the Town number nine insists their game plan will revolve around hard word and determination.

“We're going there with our own game plan,” said Shaw. “We've got our own players, we have a lot of proud players in that changing room who will be working really hard to cause an upset.

“We would love to get through to the next round of the FA Cup but win, lose or draw it has been a fantastic cup run.”

A draw is something that has been cautiously looked upon by many Hatters fans as a backlog of weather-affected fixtures clog up the next few months. Shaw, though remained in good spirits when posed with a potential replay scenario.

“I'm sure they wouldn't ignore us for the TV then,” said the 29-year-old. “That would be good for the club I'm sure, but it’s just another game on our calendar if we get a draw.

“We will enjoy it, savour it and remember every minute of it.”

Lawless was presented with the player of the round trophy on Thursday and will appear as a guest of honour at the FA Cup final in May. Before his cup final exploits, though, the midfielder hopes to take heart from Bradford City's Capital One Cup fairytale.

“We’ve all talked about Bradford this week but it’s hard not to because we’re in a not-to-similar position to them,” said Lawless. “Realistically it’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be really hard. When we played Wolves they were out of form and struggling a bit and we were at home - but you can see Bradford have done it so why not us?”

Henry will be called upon as one of the more experienced heads in the dressing room having represented Stevenage in the FA Cup pitting himself against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle in recent seasons.

And the skipper is ready for a momentous occasion on Saturday.

He said: “As a boy you always dream of playing in these types of games so when the opportunities comes along you have to take it and I'm looking forward to it and it will be a great day.”
While everyone surrounding the club looks forward to what promises to be a magnificent occasion, Tyler still reminded that whatever the result on Saturday the main aim and important fixture lies after the afternoon is forgotten.

“It’s nice to have the FA Cup and the FA Trophy runs but the main objective of everyone here is to get promoted and it starts next Saturday against Barrow.”

Click here to watch all four interviews, and one with Paul Buckle, on Hatters Player.

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