Buckle joy at adding giantkilling to Luton's history
LUTON Town are determined to savour their success after returning from the brink to become the first non-League side in 24 years to beat top-flight opposition in the FA Cup.
The Hatters, who have spent much of the last 20 years facing up to financial woes and now play in the Blue Square Premier, entered the fifth-round draw with a 1-0 victory over Norwich at Carrow Road.
"This is an incredible achievement," said manager Paul Buckle. "The club's had some really bad days over the last few years, so I'm absolutely thrilled for the board, the fans and the players."
The 1959 finalists and 1994 semi-finalists emulated Sutton, who in 1989 beat top-flight Coventry, after a turbulent recent history.
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The former Bristol Rovers boss added: "We've embraced the club's history. That's something I've been keen to do.
"We're very aware of our history, but we are keen to add to it. Hopefully, now everyone can start believing that we are good enough. I can enjoy this for a little while, but I've got to try keep taking the club forward."
Luton, 85 places lower in the football pyramid than their hosts and battling to return to the Football League, named ten of the players who beat Wolves in the third round.
But it was three substitutes who combined in the 80th minute as Scott Rendell converted JJ O'Donnell's cross following Stuart Fleetwood's pass, sending 4,000 travelling fans delirious.
The visitors were more than a match for Norwich throughout. "Both games now, Wolves and Norwich, there wasn't a lot of fluke about it," added Buckle.
"We weren't holding on for dear life. Hopefully, now we can take a lot of belief from this. I've been fortunate in a few years of management to have some good highs. This is right up there."
For Buckle's Norwich counterpart, Chris Hughton, his old team-mate at Brentford, the loss was a low point in his managerial career.
Hughton said: "The game is full of highs and lows, for whatever reason. We're in a difficult place at the moment.
"What is important is that we come out of it as quickly as possible. It's not a particularly nice feeling. I don't think we can feel as bad as we do at the moment."
The Canaries have a chance to make amends on Wednesday at home to Tottenham in the Premier League, where they sit 13th.
"It's a big game for us and from where we are right at this moment this game can't come quick enough," added Hughton.
"We need everybody pulling in the right direction. There are going to be highs and lows in a season. It's a low period for us, but we're professional people.
"We are at this moment in a position in the league where we're three points behind Stoke; most people feel that Stoke have had a good season.
"We're a point behind West Ham; most people feel that they've had a good season.
"It's my responsibility to put some confidence back into the team. We don't have to wait very long for the next opportunity."