Hatters number two knows Luton need to be wary of QPR's 'potent' strike force

Town legend looks ahead to this afternoon's game

By Mike Simmonds
Sunday, 13th March 2022, 6:30 am
QPR hope to have Scottish international Lyndon Dykes available this afternoon
QPR hope to have Scottish international Lyndon Dykes available this afternoon

Luton assistant boss Mick Harford knows that his side have to be wary of the attacking options that this afternoon’s opponents QPR possess.

The visitors are hoping to have both Lyndon Dykes and Charlie Austin available for the clash, with Scottish international Dykes, the top scorer this term, on nine from 28 matches.

He hasn’t played since February 15 due to a leg injury, while although the experienced Austin only has six to his name so far, the former Southampton and Burnley frontman seems to have a knack of scoring against the Hatters, netting in his last two outings.

Throw into the mix former Hatter Andre Gray too, and Harford said of Town's play-off rivals: “We are in very similar positions, in terms of games won and goal difference.

"There is absolutely nothing between us in terms of where we are, maybe apart from the one point we are ahead of them.

"Queens Park Rangers are a good team, a good outfit, they’ve got some really good players.

"They play a certain way and Mark (Warburton) has got them playing, at times, some very special football.

"They've got good rotation in midfield and obviously they’ve got a potent threat with the strikers they’ve got at the club, with Austin, Gray and Dykes, who are a real potent strike force there.

"So it’s going to be a tough game as we all know, you know I’m going to say that, but it’s another challenge we are looking forward to.”

It had looked recently like Rangers were nailed on for a top six slot at the very least, possibly giving the automatic berths a run of their money, but Warburton's side have slipped up just at the wrong time, on a run of four defeats in seven, with just one victory, dropping to seventh in the table.

However Harford felt injuries have contributed to the slight dip in results, as he continued: "I think it might be unfortunate, a little bit of that (form) because one or two of their strikers have been injured.

"Lyndon Dykes has been injured for a long time and he’s a big part of them with his goals and his contribution to the game, the way he holds the ball up and brings people into the game.

“To have him missing was a big loss and I think Elias Chair missed a few games over the last five or six weeks who, in my opinion, is pivotal to their performances."

Luton meanwhile carried on their fine form by bouncing back from defeat at Middlesbrough on Saturday to make it 10 league victories from 15 when triumphing 1-0 at Coventry City in midweek.

On the performance, Harford added: "I thought it was a brilliant three points, a brilliant away performance.

"We rode our luck a bit early in the game, but I thought overall it was a great away performance and thoroughly deserved.

"Even the game before at Middlesbrough, which wasn’t a great spectacle, I thought overall we defended quite well.

"We gave them two soft goals, but we could have got something there as well, so we are disappointed only to get three points in my opinion.

"But to go to two difficult away games and come away with three points is quite pleasing.

"A tough game, tough place to go, Coventry at home are a very tough opposition nowadays.”