Harford feels Luton hold mental advantage over Portsmouth

Mick Harford believes Luton have the mental edge on Pompey heading into tonight’s top-of-the-table showdown.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 12:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:36 pm
Mick Harford. Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images

After sitting at the summit of League One for nearly four months, the Blues were usurped from their position on Saturday.

With Kenny Jackett’s side in FA Cup action against QPR, the Hatters took full advantage.

They delivered a 1-0 win at Southend to leapfrog Pompey and go two points clear out in front.

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Mick Harford. Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Jackett's men have the opportunity to regain their lead at the top tonight (7.45pm).

The Blues could, however, slip five points behind Luton if they suffer a defeat – although they’d still have a game in hand.

Harford is expecting a crackling atmosphere inside a sold-out Kenilworth Road. 

And the Hatters interim manager reckons Pompey will have the fact they’re playing catch up in the back of their mind.

He told Luton Today: ‘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.’

Despite Harford feeling Luton have the psychological advantage, he rates Pompey.

He believes the Blues will be tough to break down, while the likes of Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis have the ability to hurt the Hatters.

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.’