Harford hopes Luton thrive on the pressure of being top

Hatters interim boss Mick Harford
Hatters interim boss Mick Harford

Luton interim boss Mick Harford is hopeful that his his side thrive on the added pressure of being top of the league.

The Hatters moved to the summit after beating Southend United 1-0 at the weekend, leapfrogging previous leaders Portsmouth.

Town now have the chance to extend their advantage to five points over Pompey when they visit Kenilworth Road tonight, who go into the game off the top of the table for the first time since September 30.

Harford hopes that will have an effect on the visitors, saying: “Mentally, yes, as they’re chasing now and it’s hard to chase teams.

"Mentally you have to chase a team and you have that in the back of your mind.

"If you lose, you go five points behind, not two, and the gap does open up.

"So it’s hard to chase teams and we’ll hopefully thrive on that.

"It’s going to be a great evening, full house, something that the fans will embrace and definitely the players are going to embrace it and enjoy it.”

On whether there has been an extra buzz around the training ground after moving to the summit, Harford continued: "Yes, being top of the league does give everyone a little spring in their step and we’re absolutely delighted.

"I’ve got to say we’re there on merit in my opinion, in terms of the style of football we’re playing and the way we’ve been beating teams, so hopefully it will be continue.”

Although the visitors, who signed striker Omar Bogle on loan from Cardiff yesterday, go into the game on the back of two straight league defeats, they did knock Peterborough out of the Checkatrade Trophy recently and earned a 1-1 draw with QPR in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

Harford added: "They weren’t at the top of the league for such a long time for nothing, they’re a good outfit.

"They’ve got a real good manager who’s organised, who knows this league inside out, they play the Kenny Jackett way and they’re a hard team to break down.

"They’ve got some real good individual players, the likes of (Jamal) Lowe and (Brett) Pitman and (Oliver) Hawkins and (Ronan) Curtis, they’re a good outfit.