Luton chief hadn't detected any nerves ahead of Brewers defeat

Town boss Mick Harford hadn’t detected any nerves amongst his players going into last weekend’s potential promotion clincher at Burton Albion.

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 10:20 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 10:28 am
Jason Cummings is crowded out against Burton

With an hour gone, the Hatters were 1-0 ahead, and had they maintained their lead, they would have gone up, with Portsmouth and Sunderland drawing 1-1.

However, the visitors were unusually off the pace, second best to the Brewers throughout and conceded twice in the final 30 minutes to go down to a 2-1 defeat.

When asked if the pressure of the situation had got to his players, Harford said: “It could have been, but they’re calm, they’ve trained well, they’ve been their normal selves and I couldn’t detect anything in there.

“When we got the lead, it was a fortunate lead in my opinion as I felt they (Burton) created numerous opportunities in the first half.

“They got themselves in some great positions and there was some excellent defending from us, but overall I thought we weren’t really at the races.”

With the finishing line in sight, Town have just started to falter, a run of one win from their last five games, with two defeats, allowing the chasing pack to start breathing down their necks.

However, Luton could be promoted this evening if Portsmouth lose at home to Peterborough, while draw will see them virtually assured of Championship football too.

A Pompey victory tonight would still see the Hatters complete the job by defeating Oxford United in front of a packed Kenilworth Road at the weekend.

Harford added: “We’ve got no divine right to be in any position.

“We have to work hard, we have to treat every game as a cup final, we have to roll our sleeves up, we have to get about teams and today (Saturday) we didn’t.

“At the start of the season we’d have taken this position, with one game to go.

“It’s been a long, long job and we’re coming to the end.

"It’s getting slightly tricky but I have every confidence in the staff and the players and the football club to get over the line.”