Mauricio Pochettino declares that Chelsea must be ready to face “real football” when they encounter Luton Town at Kenilworth Road in the ongoing Premier League on Saturday.
Pochettino mentions that the promoted Hatters’ 11,500-seat stadium has a special allure for the romantic side of football within him.
However, he cautions his players that they must match the determination of their opponents to achieve a positive outcome, especially after experiencing four consecutive defeats in away matches.
“I am an old man, I am romantic,” says the 51-year-old Argentine coach.
“I love football from the past, and stadiums like this make you remember when I started playing.
“It’s a stadium with a different scent. It’s not luxury as we know it today.
“This type of stadium is where you enjoy being. It’s history; it’s truly different.”
While 10th-placed Chelsea hasn’t secured an away league victory since defeating nine-man Tottenham on November 6, Luton has won two consecutive matches in their debut Premier League season.
A third consecutive win in Saturday’s 12:30 GMT kick-off — at home, where they’ve earned a point against Liverpool and led against both Manchester City and Arsenal this season — would take Luton out of the relegation places and within seven points of Chelsea.
“Today we live in a different era, but when you go there, you feel real football,” says Pochettino.
“We need to go to Luton thinking that it’s going to be really tough. The stadium, the fans, it’s a team that loves to fight and work really hard,” adds the Chelsea boss.
“If we want to get a good result, we need to be ready, of course, to play football, but we need to match the desire, the capacity to fight for every single ball.”