Harford expects a reaction from Rovers after Doncaster hammering

Hatters boss Mick Harford
Hatters boss Mick Harford

Hatters boss Mick Harford isn’t reading too much into tomorrow’s opponents Bristol Rovers’ 4-1 hammering at the hands of Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday evening.

The Pirates had gone into the match on the back of five game unbeaten run, with three wins, but were 3-0 behind after just 31 minutes, with Harford an interested spectator at the Keepmoat Stadium.

It means that boss Graham Coughlain suffered only the third defeat of his reign since taking over from Darrell Clarke in January, and ensured Rovers remain one of the 13 sides who could feasibly go down from League One this year.

However, Harford said: “I think Graham’s done a great job since he went in there.

“He’s galvanised them, he’s turned them into a unit which are quite hard to beat.

“I was at the game on Tuesday evening, I thought it was a bit of a one off, in terms of where they’ve been at, the levels they’ve been playing at.

“There will be some kind of reaction I’m sure from Graham and his players.

"It’s never easy, there’s no easy games in this league and we’re not expecting an easy game down there just because they got beat 4-1 at Doncaster.

“They’ve drawn a lot of games under Graham, they haven’t lost many apart from the one the other night, where they looked a bit fragile.

"But he’ll get them right and there will be a reaction from them when they play us on Saturday.

“He’s turned it round a little bit, so we’re going to expect a real tough encounter.”

Coughlan is in his first managerial role after a number of spells as assistant and being in the backroom staff at Rovers and Southend United previously.

Harford is hoping he will go on to enjoy a successful career, after Saturday of course, adding: “We’ve had a few rows in the tunnel me and Graham, but we’ve mellowed, and we’ve become quite good friends actually.

"I sent him a message when he got the job and I was delighted for him.

"I think he’s doing a good job, he worked under Paul Sturrock for years and years and he’ll have gained a lot from Paul.

"I hope he has a successful managerial career because he’s a good guy.”