Emotional Luton Town boss Mick Harford on Sunderland draw and verdict on big talking points

Caretaker Luton Town boss Mick Harford paid an emotional tribute to his players and the fans following a 'whirlwind' couple of days.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 13 January, 2019, 07:29

Harford was in charge of Luton Town for the top-of-the-table League One clash against Sunderland following Nathan Jones' move to Stoke City in the build-up to the game at the Stadium of Light.

A boyhood Sunderland fan, Harford represented his hometown club for a brief spell in 1993 during an illustrious playing career.

And it was an eventful afternoon on Wearside with both sides ending the game with ten men following straight red cards for Danny Hylton, for an elbow on Jack Balwdin, and goalscorer Chris Maguire, sent off for a late stamp, and a controversial penalty decision from referee Lee Probert.

Jack Ross indicated Sunderland would appeal Maguire's red and Harford was of the same opinion for Hylton.

Harford said: "I’ve been in his position, absolutely, lots of times, when you back in and your arm goes up, it looked like to me that it wasn’t intentional.

“He will miss four games, he’s distraught in there, saying it wasn't intentional, so we'll look at it and hopefully do something about it.

Luke O'Nien takes a tumble in the draw with Luton Town.

"Hopefully we can get him off, he doesn’t need to be missing any more games, Danny, if he doesn't play he's a big loss for us."

Harford was given a warm reception from both sets of supporters when he arrived at the stadium and the Luton fans were chanting his name throughout.

Harford told Luton Today: "It was very, very eventful, and I’m proud of the players.

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“The players were magnificent, they’ve just gone out there, played a style of football that for my opinion, and Sunderland was above the level, in terms of where we are, some exciting football.

“We could have been 3-0 up in the first 15, 20 minutes, as the keeper pulled off some magnificent saves.

"We took a bit of pressure, they scored a goal which disappointed us a bit, but we got to half time 1-0, we came out again, and in my opinion, dominated the game.

"We got our deserved goal, but overall the players, the lads who have been working with the staff, Kevin (Dearden), they’ve been amazing over the last four or five days in terms of what’s happened at the football club.

"But I just cannot say to you guys how proud I am of the players in terms of what they’ve done and what they’ve achieved.

"37,000 people here and I think a lot of the supporters will go away and say Luton Town are a good football team.

“We’re a group, we’re a good group, they want to contribute, they’re good lads, they manage themselves basically.

"The team that went out there, the senior player who know the routines of what we’re about, what we’re doing.

"So it’s been a whirlwind and we move on, the football club moves on and we’re just really looking forward to that challenge.

"If we put in performances like that, then we’ll definitely be challenging for promotion out of League One, I was so proud of them."