Luton's players know the 'magnificent opportunity' they have to reach the Premier League this season

Hatters number two insists hard work will be key to a promotion push

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 12th March 2022, 8:00 am
Hatters assistant boss Mick Harford with West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce recently
Hatters assistant boss Mick Harford with West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce recently

Town’s players are well aware of the ‘magnificent opportunity’ they have to reach the Premier League this season.

That’s the view of assistant boss Mick Harford, who has played in the top flight for the Hatters before, as they they enter what is commonly known as the business end of the season.

With 11 games remaining, ahead of this afternoon’s matches, Luton find themselves sitting in sixth position and should results go their way, plus they beat QPR on Sunday afternoon, could even climb as high as fourth.

Speaking to the press on Friday, Harford said: “We see it as a magnificent opportunity.

"We absolutely know all the pitfalls, we know how tough it is going to be, we know the opposition we are going to come up against is very difficult, because every week there is a different tactical challenge in the Championship for us.

"So we have got to be on the ball, we’ve got to be switched on and we’ve got to be tactically aware of what we are going into every Saturday afternoon.”

Luton have put themselves in this position with a magnificent run of form as since beating Blackpool 3-0 on the road before Christmas, have won 10 from 15 league matches to jump from from 16th place to the final play-off berth.

With Town hitting form just at the right time, Harford continued: "The return in points we are getting is fantastic.

"We have a way of winning at the moment, which is working for us.

"We are making it very hard for opponents to play against us, we are defending very, very well.

"In both boxes I think we look very good, we are excellent defensively, when the ball is going in the box, our centre-halves are getting a head on it and making good clearances.

"The ball is going up to our front men and they are causing problems with the stretch ball, so overall it’s very pleasing and our form is good, yes.”

On just what he thinks the Hatters have to do to stay in and around the top six until May, Harford said: "Hard work beats everything in my opinion.

"You often need a little bit of luck along the way, we are going to have to steer clear of injuries, we are going to have to have certain things go in our favour, refereeing decisions and things like that, so there is a lot to take into consideration.

"But obviously if we keep the players in good form and good spirits, and the way they are going out there at the moment, they are producing, it’s a great opportunity for us.”

Having what he feels are a completely honest group of players who will do everything for the cause gives Town every chance too, as Harford added: "Ever since I came back to the football club with Nathan (Jones), that’s our biggest criteria, to try and get a good group in within the place.

"To try and get people who work hard, who are prepared to come into the training ground every day and have a shift, that’s what they do.

"Players throughout the years since we’ve been back, have done exactly the same, and that’s why we are having our rewards.

"They train hard and they transfer it onto the pitch on a Saturday afternoon and Tuesday night, and it’s beginning to show, it’s bearing fruit, with our position in the Championship.

"Absolutely great group of lads, who work their socks off every day.

"We had a training session out there with them and it was amazing how hard they work.

"They just want to do well and better themselves."