Harford fully prepared for tough Shrimpers challenge

Hatters interim boss Mick Harford
Hatters interim boss Mick Harford

Luton interim boss Mick Harford believes the inconsistency of today’s opponents Southend will make them a dangerous proposition for the Hatters.

The Shrimpers are currently on a run of five wins and five defeats from their last 10 games, as since mid-November they haven't been able to back up a victory with a positive result in the following game.

Harford knows just what United have to offer though, from his brief of watching Town's opponents earlier in the season, as he said: “It’s 11 games now they’ve gone win, lose, win, lose, and you have to respect Southend.

“We played them early on, and I went to watch them the game before we played them and I thought they were at the time they were the best team I’d seen in the league.

“They were 4-4-2 and Chris (Powell) had them really full pelt, and we know what to expect there.

“It’s a difficult little ground, it’s a bit like Kenilworth Road. The atmosphere is quite intimidating and it’s going to be a tough day for us, but we’ll be ready and prepared for them.”

The hosts can go into the match on the back of a superb confidence-boosting 4-0 win at Bradford City last weekend, as Harford continued: “They had a fantastic result last week, they beat Bradford 4-0 and some of the goals were sublime, some of the finishes was amazing.

"(Stephen), Humphrys got two, some of the football they played was exciting, so it’s going to be a challenge for us.”

However, Luton themselves are unbeaten in 15 league game, equalling a run they haven't matched in league football since 1982.

Avoiding defeat at Roots Hall would not only take Town top of the table, above a non-playing Portsmouth, but mean the sequence has only been bettered three occasions in the club's history – two 19 game unbeaten runs in 1968 and 1969/70 and a 23-game run in 1913/14.

Harford could only praise the players for the manner they have gone about their work, adding: "They’re on a roll, they enjoy the way they play, enjoy the type of football they’re playing, they’re playing with a bit of confidence and they’re embracing the challenge.

"They’re a real good bunch, they work hard, you put sessions on for them in certain ways and they just embrace it and get on with their jobs, so they're a pleasure to work with."