Harford wants Luton to keep calm in promotion race

Hatters boss Mick Harford
Hatters boss Mick Harford

Keeping calm will be the message sent out to the Town players ahead of their trip to Burton Albion this afternoon by boss Mick Harford and his management team.

The Hatters go into the game knowing a victory could well see them promoted to the Championship if results elsewhere go their way.

However, Harford doesn’t want his squad to get too caught up in the importance of the occasion, saying: “That’s been part of our chats, we need to be calm, we need to be relaxed, we need to play with our hearts but think with our heads.

“That’s the key message we send out to all the players, to all the staff, for the staff to be positive around the players, for everyone in the building to be positive.

“As we’ve said all along, we’re in a very, very good position, at the start of the season we’d have taken this."

Harford himself admitted he was relishing the challenge of winning promotion this season, even after seeing two points dropped due to a last-gasp leveller for AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night.

He continued: “I’m feeling great. I was very disappointed after the other evening when we conceded a late goal, but that’s our job to get back up again, get the players back focused and ready to go again.

"It’s my job, our job as a staff, to get them up for Saturday, if we win on Saturday we’re in a great position.

"They were disappointed, they were on the floor a little, but we’ll get them up and if they keep putting performances in like that, they’ll be fine.

“We’ll pick them up no problem, they're a magnificent group of players, and I'm highly confident that those boys will be read for Saturday.

“We wouldn’t swap it for anything in terms of where we are, and we’re just looking forward to the next game.”

Town defender Jack Stacey hasn’t noticed any sign of nerves around the camp either going into a crucial stage of the season.

He said: “I don’t think so, it still looks very lively, everyone’s joking around.

“We’re looking forward to the game Saturday, luckily, it was a midweek game (against Wimbledon), so we only have a few days until the next game.

"I think we’re ready to go and play Burton now.

“If we weren’t playing as well as we were, we might be a little bit more worried, but we know if we play how we have, then we should pick up the points required.”

After seeing their 28 game unbeaten record go at Charlton earlier this month, Stacey has been impressed by the manner Town hit back, taking four points out of six.

He added: “Especially going away to Accrington Stanley is maybe a banana skin for us.

“Because it was live on Sky, people have said about that, the pitch they had and also the way Accrington play, or the way we thought they were going to play.

“But we started so well and in the end it was quite comfortable, was a massive positive for us.”