Hatters boss would like a home tie, but will "take it as it comes"
Hatters boss Nathan Jones will tune into the FA Cup second round draw tonight hoping for a home tie, having had his appetite whet – and his clothes soaked – by a his visit to watch his local club St Albans City take on our Sky Bet League Two rivals Carlisle United.
Just a few hours after arriving home from a successful trip to Devon, where his side saw off Exeter City 3-1, Jones stood on the Clarence Park terraces yesterday afternoon to see the Non-League outfit put up a gallant fight before eventually going down 5-3 to the Football League’s only unbeaten club.
He had dried out and warmed up enough to welcome the local media into his office at Ely Way this lunchtime for the Press call ahead of tomorrow’s Checkatrade Trophy game against Millwall, which kicks off at 7.30pm at Kenilworth Road with admission prices of £5 for adults/concessions, and free for Under-16s.
But first comes tonight’s draw, and asked if he has any preference for opposition in round two, Jones replied: “You take it as it comes. You’d like a home draw. Whoever we draw, we think it’s winnable because we are a confident group at the minute.
“But we’d like a home draw and something that gives us a chance to get to the next round, because if we’re in the third round, that’s when the romance really starts in terms of the Cup.
“It’s been a good competition. I was at St Albans-Carlisle yesterday and it was a competitive game, right down to probably the last five or six minutes. We were very pleased that we went through after a very tricky tie at Exeter on Saturday.”
Earlier this season, Jones saw his side beat Championship club Aston Villa in the EFL Cup before narrowly losing to Leeds United in round two, and the visit of two of English football’s traditional giants to Kenilworth Road raised cup fever around the club.
Jones is keen for that to be repeated in the domestic game’s main cup competition, adding: “We’d like to win it. We want to get to the final, and we’ll be trying to get to the final because we take every game as it comes. In the realms of reality, we don’t know how feasible that is.
“But we would like to get to the third round, we’d like to either get as far as we can, or draw something that gives the club and the fans something to really get behind and talk about.
“The league is our priority but the FA Cup is possibly, apart from the World Cup and the Champions League, the best competition in the world. It really is. There is no cup like it in terms of where it starts.
“Yesterday I was absolutely freezing – it was blowing a gale, pouring with rain – standing with Carlisle fans and you don’t get that in many countries. It’s a wonderful, wonderful competition.”
The Hatters are ball number 36 in tonight’s draw, which is screened live on BT Sport and BBC2 from 7pm.
All the other clubs’ numbers can be found by clicking here