Town go into tonight's youth cup tie as underdogs but have nothing to fear says Paul Driver
Paul Driver believes his side have nothing to fear as the Town Under-18s prepare to face Blackburn Rovers tonight for a place in the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup.
The young Hatters face a fifth successive away tie in the competition but, having beaten four Category 3-rated academies en route to the last eight, Driver knows it will be a different proposition when they take on Cat-1 Rovers at Ewood Park.
“We’ve got nothing to lose,” Driver told lutontown.co.uk. “We’ve come this far, we’ve won our League, we’re in the area final of the League Cup…all the boys can do now is go and enjoy it.
“The games we’ve faced already have been tough but this will really be a case of us being the underdog.
“Blackburn are fourth in Premier League Under-18 division, they are a Category 1 academy and they have home advantage – but we will go there and give it a go.”
The Town’s class of 2016 booked their place in the quarter-finals after a nerve-jangling penalty shootout out at Preston earlier this month.
But Driver says his side are now in better shape ahead of this evening’s shootout with Rovers for a spot in the semis.
“We were a bit patched-up for the Preston game,” Driver explained. “We knew Kyran McGhan-George could only really last an hour, Alex Atkinson’s went into the game with a reduced training programme and Kavan Cotter could only be used for 20 minutes max.
“Since then we’ve used the time to nurse the boys back to fitness and I think we’re even better prepared individually this time round.
“This will also be our third overnight stay in six weeks. Preparation has been the same as it was for Oldham and Preston. The boys are accustomed to it now. It’s nothing new.
“We’ve had plenty thrown at us on the pitch before and, while Rovers are a higher ranked academy, I don’t think we’re going into the unknown so much.”
Tuesday’s tie kicks-off at 7pm at Ewood Park. Entry is £4 for adults and £2 concessions. Town supporters will use turnstile L of the Jack Walker Stand and can park in car park B at the Darwen End of the stadium.
lutontown.co.uk will also be live from Ewood Park with live text updates together with post-match reports and reaction.
For those not travelling who would like to listen to the game, Live Sports FM will be broadcasting live commentary from Ewood.