Jones labels Town's FA Cup trip to Owls as a 'wonderful tie'

James Shea celebrates Town's FA Cup win at Bury on Sunday
James Shea celebrates Town's FA Cup win at Bury on Sunday

Luton Town boss Nathan Jones has described his side’s FA Cup third round trip to Sheffield Wednesday as a ‘wonderful tie.’

The Hatters were paired with the Owls during Monday night’s draw, as they will make their first visit to Hillsborough in 12 years.

Jones said: “It’s a wonderful tie, we hope the fans feel the same way.

“It’s a wonderful place to go, a real traditional FA Cup ground, it used to be one of the semi-final venues, so it’s a ground with a great history.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have been there a few times in my career and it’s a wonderful place to go and play football and for me, it will be a wonderful place to go and manage my team.

“We’re delighted. If we’re being greedy, we would have loved to have got one of the massive ones at home or away, but if you’re looking at Championship clubs, I think it’s a real interesting game for us.

“It’s going to be a proper FA Cup tie and we’re going to treat it that way.

“I would much rather be going to Hillsborough than going to a League One side away, or a League One side at home, because there is a difference about the tie as they’re in a higher league than us.”

Jones is hoping that his side will take a big following for the game to be played on the weekend of January 4-7, as he continued: “Hillsborough’s a wonderful ground, it really is, with a big pitch and hopefully they’ll get a big crowd and we’ll take some, to get a real FA Cup tie atmosphere.

“A Saturday afternoon in Sheffield, the weather is not going to be great, it never is without being disrespectful in January in Sheffield.

“I think our chief exec said yesterday, we’ve never drawn them in the FA Cup, so it’s a place to go, Luton fans will have probably been there in the height-y days of the club, but it’s a great ground.

“We’re going there to have a right go and to win the game, so we want our fans to travel well. It’s a beautiful place to watch football and it’s not a million miles away either.”

With Jones wanting his side to be where the Owls are at this stage next season, plying their trade in the Championship, he knows it will be a good marker of how close they are.

He added: “That’s what we really like doing and we’ve tested ourselves against Championship sides and acquitted ourselves fantastically well.

“Probably the most barren game against a Championship side was when Ipswich cane here and really were a strong team.

“They were a Mick McCarthy team and they’re always difficult to play against.

“But we’ve had real good games against Championship sides and always tested them.

“We want to do that again, we’re in a good place at the minute, so it will be an interesting barometer for us.”