Harford not even contemplating promotion yet

Luton chief Mick Harford hasn’t for one second allowed himself to think about the Hatters getting promoted this season.

Saturday, 20th April 2019, 10:50 am
Updated Saturday, 20th April 2019, 10:52 am
Hatters boss Mick Harford

Town go into today’s 5.30pm televised clash at Accrington Stanley with the chance to take a huge step towards playing Championship football.

Victory would see them go five points ahead of second placed Barnsley with just three matches to go, and going up could then be secured against AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday evening, depending on results elsewhere.

However, on whether he has thought about such a scenario, Harford said: “I haven’t no. A lot of things go through my mind, we would all love it, it would be a massive achievement for everyone at the football club, but until it’s done we will never ever mention it or presume it, we will just keep working hard and aiming for our goal.

“We don’t presume anything in football, it’s got this nasty habit of kicking you where you don’t want to be kicked.

“We’ll go to Accrington very positive and try to get a positive result.

“There’s a lot of points to play for, there are teams fighting for different reasons, we’re fighting to try and get out of this league.

“We’re top of the league, everyone wants to beat us.

“It’s a massive challenge for all the opposition teams who we play against, and I keep saying it, we’re fully focused, we’re grounded and we’ll be ready for every challenge to be thrown at us.”

On the challenge that is in front of Town, they face an Accrington side who are battling relegation this term, despite pipping Town to the League Two title last season.

Stanley gave themselves a huge boost with a third win of 2019 last weekend, beating Walsall 2-1, but Harford hopes Luton can continue their unbeaten league run at the Crown Ground.

He continued: “I take my hat off to John Coleman and the way his term performed last season in terms of winning the title, deservedly so in my opinion, if you finish top of the league you deserve to win the title.

“They had a remarkable run, an absolutely brilliant run in terms of what they did as he utilised his squad, didn’t really make many changes.

“It’s a big challenge for us, we have done well up there in the past and we hope to do well again.

“John sets his team up well, he gets them playing a certain way and they’ll be hard to beat.

“I’ve watched the game, they deserved to beat Walsall in terms of the way they played, the possession and the chances created.

“As we say all the time, we’ll make our players aware of their strengths and weaknesses, hopefully exploit some of their weaknesses and hopefully stop some of their strengths.”

Harford did concede that there were some nerves around the club with going up a real possibility now, knowing that managing such feelings is an important part of the next few weeks.

He said: “We try to keep things the same as every away game, but it’s not.

“There’s a massive importance on the next four games, and players, staff, supporters do get nervous, do get edgy.

“It’s our job as a staff to keep players calm and keep their feet on the ground and hopefully get through this process.”

Although the Easter schedule has seen Luton playing a day after all their opponents on Saturday and Tuesday evening, it was something that Harford was relishing.

He said: “It’s nice to be on TV and something the players will embrace, to go to Accrington who are fighting down the bottom of the table, they need results, they’ve had some good results recently, some good performances.

“Will it help us or hinder us? I don’t really care as look as we look after own business and I’ve said it all along, if we can take care of ourselves, we’ll be okay.

“One of the bonuses in my opinion is we’re playing on Tuesday under the lights at Kenilworth Road and I would rather play on a Tuesday night than a Monday afternoon over Easter.”