Harford hails ‘brilliant day’ as Luton are crowned League One champions
Mick Harford labelled Luton’s League One heroics as a ‘brilliant achievement’ after they were crowned champions following a 3-1 win against Oxford.
George Moncur’s double and a Elliot Lee strike saw Town lift the title in front of a packed Kenilworth Road.
Town took the lead inside three minutes when Moncur curled a free-kick around the wall and beyond goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.
Jamie Mackie should have levelled when clean through but James Shea made a fine save low to his right.
Lee made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute after he picked out the top corner after good work by Moncur and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.
He almost had a second, denied by Eastwood, before the visitors got one back on the hour mark as Gavin Whyte hit the post and Luke Garbutt netting the rebound.
Town sealed victory in the 73rd minute as Moncur doubled his own tally from close range and spark wild celebrations.
Harford, who took over once Nathan Jones left for Stoke in January, said: ‘It’s an absolutely brilliant day, fully deserved over the course of 46 games.
‘I thought the players throughout the season have been magnificent, breaking records, the 28-game run, highest scorers in the division.
‘Just overall a fantastic all-round season, magnificent effort by what I call a really top bunch of players.
‘My remit was to take care of the team.
‘I’d been involved in the process of recruit the team, so I knew the character of most of them, but when I got working with them, after two or three weeks, I realised that they were different.
‘To me, I believed we had a group of winners, a group of players who could win games, and now they are champions.
‘I’m absolutely 100 per cent thrilled for every player, every person connected with the football club, and all the supporters, it’s a brilliant, brilliant achievement.
‘On the 26th of January, when we went top of League One, there as no way we were not doing it.
‘It’s been a long season, 46 games, we’re by far the best team in the league.
‘These players are incredible, they’ve created a legacy here and as one of the best teams Luton have ever had.
‘They’ve set all kinds of records, and I didn’t need to do much to this team, as they are a fantastic side.
‘ Oxford boss Karl Robinson was critical of referee Michael Salisbury’s performance as the visitors saw their nine-game unbeaten run come to an end.
He said: ‘I thought the ref was more worried about their fans today than giving the right decisions.
‘Luton are picking up a trophy and we’ll build for the future – nine of our team today were under 23.
‘Mick has done incredible here and his players are deserved champions.
‘We’ve got a big summer ahead of us and I’m looking forward to it.
The Hatters just needed a win to secure the title, and they did so in some style.’