When Chelsea takes on Luton Town at Kenilworth Road in the Premier League on Saturday, Mauricio Pochettino thinks his team needs to be ready for “real football”.
Pochettino stated that he was drawn to the 11,500-seat stadium of the Hatters since it was advertised.
But after four straight losses away from home, he cautioned his team that they needed to match their opponents’ will to win.
“I am a romantic, even though I am 51 years old,” the Argentinean stated.
“I adore vintage football, and playing in a stadium like this brings back memories of my playing days.
“The stadium has a distinct scent. It isn’t luxury in the sense that we understand it today.
“This kind of stadium makes you want to be there.” It is history, and it is entirely distinct.”
While Luton has won back-to-back games in their Premier League debut, 10th-place Chelsea has not won a league away game since defeating a nine-man Tottenham team on November 6.
And Rob Edwards’ team has gotten closer to safety with their wins over Sheffield United and Newcastle.
In the home ground where they have led both Manchester City and Arsenal this season and taken a point off Liverpool, Luton would move within seven points of Chelsea and out of the relegation zone with a third straight victory on Saturday at 12:30 GMT.
“Today we are living in a different era, but when you go there, you feel real football,” stated Pochettino.
“We must approach Luton with the expectation that it will be extremely difficult. The team is one that wants to compete and work extremely hard, the stadium, and the fans,” the Blues manager continued.
“Of course, we need to be prepared to play football if we want to obtain a successful outcome, but we also need to have the drive and strength to fight for every ball.
“It’s going to be a good test for us.”