Norwich City boss Chris Hughton braced for a Luton FA Cup backlash
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Chris Hughton expects both him and his players will have to face the music after Conference play-off hopefuls Luton stunned the Canaries 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round at Carrow Road.
Scott Rendell’s late close range finish embarrassed the Premier League hosts on a day when City became the first top flight club since Coventry City in 1989 to slump to non-league opposition in the world-famous competition.
Hughton insisted his players had let him and the supporters down after a lacklustre display was punished by a club more than 80 places below them in the current pecking order.
“Yes we were rightly expected to beat them and this will be a tough few days. How much of a shock is it? It is a big shock,” said Hughton. “We have to give Luton credit. They came with a gameplan and they relied on a few things happening to get the result. We found it very difficult to break them down. The good chances we had we could not put them away and that would have changed the game. Even in the second half period when we pushed and pushed they caught us on the classic counter-attack. That was a poor goal for us to concede and it was one thing we said at half-time. Yes, we wanted to push but we knew these were a fit side. Perhaps that one opportunity they had they scored in the second half.”
Hatters’ counterpart Paul Buckle admitted his side’s latest giant-killing act will take some time to savour.
“I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet,” said Buckle. “It is an incredible effort by the players. Against Wolves in the last round we didn’t feel we were lucky when we went through. I know Norwich had a couple of good chances in the game and you expect that, but Mark (Tyler) has pulled off two good saves. Other than that the most pleasing thing for me is we defended so well and carried a threat going the other way. I am absolutely delighted for the players and the fans were out of this world. We probably couldn’t have done it without those 4,000 travelling fans.”