Brabin aims for Cheltenham FA Cup upset

LUTON Town manager Gary Brabin is looking for another FA Cup upset when League Two side Cheltenham Town visit Kenilworth Road in the second round clash tomorrow, writes Mike Simmonds.

Town knocked out Northampton Town in the first round, but face an altogether different proposition in the Robins, who are currently third in the table, winning their last seven away games.

Speaking to the press this morning, Brabin said: “I love the FA Cup, it has lots of tradition and it’s a fantastic game for us.

“We want to win games of football matches whether it be in the FA Cup or the league.

“Certainly we’ve got a good draw, a home game against a team from the league above and hopefully we can get past that hurdle.

“We’re capable of playing a lot higher and a lot better than we have at the moment and there’s no better time to show that than on Saturday.

“If we focus on ourselves I know we’re a match for any side.”

The Hatters boss appreciates it will be far from easy though as Cheltenham continue to prove one of the surprise packages of their division this campaign.

Brabin continued: “They’re on a bit of a high at the moment and all the reports would suggest they’re playing really well.

“I expect a tough game. I expect them to be full of energy, they’re a lively side who try to play football the right way.

“They’re having a good season and are a good footballing side. I spoke to a few managers and we’ve got our own scouting report.

“There are some really competitive sides in that league. It is a bit surprising when you see them up there, but I know their manager well and I know he plays football the right way.

“He’s probably had his fair share of critics in the past, but has worked hard at it and come out the other side.”

Leading scorer Amari Morgan-Smith is still missing for Luton, while striker Ryan Brunt is cup-tied as Brabin confirmed he wouldn’t be resting any players for the tie, although he is considering handing defender Dan Gleeson his first start of the season..

He continued: “Amari is the only who one who is definitely going to be out, but I certainly want to play my strongest side that are good enough to win the game and hopefully progress to the next round.

“I’ve spoken to Dan, he got another 90 minute last Tuesday and is now in contention.”

Although Town were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by AFC Telford on Tuesday night, to slip further behind in the title race, Brabin did try and take some positives from the clash.

He said: “At the moment, we’re building on the fact that we’re on a little bit of an unbeaten run.

“I believe we should be doing better than what we’re doing though and we all want the same goal.

“We’re in December and people are already writing us off. We just need the full support from now until the end of the season and one thing I can guarantee is an improvement.”

Town’s one major issue currently appears to be upfront as they have scored just five goals in five games. They have also only netted more than one goal once in their last eight matches and it’s something Brabin is addressing.

He added: “We work on things all the time and it’s something we are wary of.

“We need to take more of our chances and I think Telford have had one chance from 35 yards and scored. We’ve had a number of chances where we’re hitting the post, the bar, the goalie, making saves.

“You might make a run into the box 10 times and not get the ball, but if you then run in an 11th time and don’t believe you’re going to get the ball, you’re going to miss the opportunity.

“We’ve just got to keep believing as a team that we’re going to get on the end of things.”