Onyedinma relishing the chance to link up with his former Millwall assistant boss Mick Harford at Luton

Town attacker a big fan of Hatters number two

Friday, 25th June 2021, 7:00 am
Town attacker Fred Onyedinma with Luton assistant boss Mick Harford

New Luton signing Fred Onyedinma is relishing the chance to work with Town assistant Mick Harford once more.

When Onyedinma was breaking through as a youngster at Millwall, Harford was appointed number two to Steve Lomas at the New Den, leaving a similar role with the MK Dons.

Although the Hatters legend later moved up to become the Lions head of scouting, he left an imprint on Onyedinma, as Town's first addition of the summer said: “I remember Mick, I think I had just turned 17 when he was there.

“The first time I met him, he shook my hand firmly and he’d always heard of me, so it was a good thing.

“I feel with Mick, you just have to respect someone like him.

"Even when I used to come up against Luton in different leagues, he always just used to come and say hello.

“Just those little gestures, makes you feel like he cares about me.

“He always used to tell me, ‘keep going, you’re a good player’.

“Now that I’m closer to him, to work with him, I’m looking forward to that.”

After leaving the New Den for Wycombe Wanderers on a temporary basis, Onyedinma made the switch permanent in July 2019, playing a big role in the Chairboys promotion to the Championship.

However, it was the Lions who he likened his new team to, saying: “They’re both now established sides, but I would say the atmosphere in the stadium is probably similar with Luton when it’s sold out.

“Even with Luton, with the atmosphere, people like to say hostile, but as a player it motivates you to give your all.

“With Wycombe, I can’t speak highly enough of them.

"I think it’s quite similar with Luton, if you see the progress that they’ve made from League Two to League One and coming up to Championship, it’s something that no-one expected.

"You can see the way they want to build and look forward and I feel like with Luton, they’re exactly the same.

"What benefits me as well is with the manager (Nathan Jones) and the ideas he has for me, and the plans for football as well that he has for me, I’m just looking forward to it."

With the Chairboys and Luton battling it out in the lower leagues during recent years, and the Championship last term as well, it led to some tasty encounters between the two sides.

Having played in a number of them himself, Onyedinma said: "I noticed there’s some sort of rivalry with Luton and Wycombe and I don’t know where it came from.

"Every time when I was at Wycombe and we played Luton, it was always going to be a really, really intense game.

"From what I remember in League One, that’s when Luton won the league.

"The football and how they won it was quite pleasing on the eye and amazing to see.

"Especially the fans as well, even when I was at Millwall, because they’re so close to you, you actually feel the intensity and you just feel the crowd."

Getting the move to Kenilworth Road so early in the close season was a real boost to Onyedinma too, as he looks to help the Hatters improve on their top half finish last season.

He added: “It just makes you feel settled, you know exactly what you have to do and prepare for pre-season and look forward to the season.

“I feel like I still have so much more to give, so with Luton it’s a perfect club and perfect staff as everyone’s like-minded, they just want to do more and be better so I think it’s the perfect fit.

“They always want to progress and finishing 12th is a massive achievement.

"I feel personally there’s always going to be more you can do and I feel like it’s the right time to keep building."