• FA Cup: What They Said

Redknapp slams cup flops as Luton go wild

ESPN staff
January 26, 2013

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In the Premier League era, no non-league side had ever beaten top-flight opposition in the FA Cup. On Saturday Luton changed all that against Norwich, and manager Paul Buckle was understandably elated. Buckle said: "The boys are under pressure every week. We are good enough to play in the Football League, we just need to get out of the Conference. Getting back in the league is the main priority for us but, for me as a manger, this win today is right up there.

"You need great belief and we had that today. We trained really hard for this game and it paid off. If there's one thing about today that I want the players to take away, its belief. Belief that they can achieve something special."

Luton chairman Nick Owen missed the game because he was on holiday, but called in to the BBC to express his delight: "You can usually book your holiday around the latter stages of the FA Cup when you are a Luton fan.

"I'm going absolutely bonkers here. I had my three sons at the game and they were keeping me up-to-date. I couldn't believe it when the goal went it. It is one of the great days in the club's history."

After suffering an unwelcome giant-killing, Norwich boss Chris Hughton was disappointed in the display shown by his players. He said: "It's hurting. And it will hurt for a while. But we've got to pick the players up because we have got a big Premier League on Wednesday against Tottenham.

"It was a really poor goal for us to concede, but we have got to give them credit. They worked hard and had some luck at times, but when you put all those factors together then anything can happen."

QPR were the other big losers on Saturday, going 4-0 down at home to MK Dons before ultimately 'only' losing 4-2. Afterwards, manager Harry Redknapp eviscerated his underperforming players: "If you look at the team, what is it? An England goalkeeper [Rob Green], a right-back from Man United [Fabio], a left-back in Armand Traore.

"You've got Anton Ferdinand and Tal Ben Haim, then Esteban Granero from Real Madrid. You've got Ale Faurlin, Park Ji-sung from Man United, Jamie Mackie, Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell.

"Surely they are entitled to beat a team from two divisions down? It tells me, like I've said all along, that I need to improve the squad. That is why I have gone all over Europe these last three weeks trying to improve the squad because we are short.

"We are bottom of the league because that is where we are. We have picked up in the last 10 games or so, picking up 11 points, and we're getting blood out of stone at the moment.

"I know we need to improve and that is what we will continue to try and do this week, but it is not easy."

MK Dons boss Karl Robinson, meanwhile, believed his players had shown that they warranted careers at a higher level: "I thought the players were fantastic and I thought they deserved the result. We played with no fear. To get into the fourth round was a bit of history for us. To get into round five is special.

"The players thought they could come here and express themselves, and I thought they did that. We thought we'd come here and get a result.

"There's a lot of players at the football club who deserve to play a lot higher. I said, 'Go and put yourself on a pedestal today that allows your career to take off'."

Considering events elsewhere, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was simply relieved his side got the win against League Two's Macclesfield. The Spaniard noted: "Macclesfield are the ones who deserve huge credit.

"We knew coming here that this football team has fantastic confidence and they are having a good run in all competitions so we knew scoring the first goal would be important but we couldn't get that second goal. I was very impressed with Macclesfield."

The unlikely figure of Jonny Heitinga was the difference as Everton survived a stern examination from Bolton. David Moyes said:"It was great to get through, that's the job, but there has been many years when we've not got through in similar games. I thought it was going to a replay and Bolton had done enough to earn it. In the second half we had most of the play without being creative and we needed to find another way of scoring the goal.

"Marouane Fellaini had been playing a bit deeper so I thought he needed to be pushed forward. He didn't score but he was involved."

Bolton boss Dougie Freedman tried to take the positives: "Many times in similar conditions we could have called that off but everyone has worked so hard to get the game on and it seems like the game has kicked us in the teeth.

"I'm disappointed in the result, but not the performance. In the first 20 minutes we had a setback but we got on with it and played probably the best football we have done since I've been here."

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