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Kev and Karl Hail Hartfod

Kev and Karl Hail Hartfod

Two of Colchester`s most senior squad players, Kevin Watson and Karl Duguid, have publicly stated their wish that United retain the services of assistant boss, Mick Hartford, after speculation that he might soon succeed Mike Newell at Luton.

Despite being odds-on favourite to assume Town`s vacant managerial post, Luton have made no approach for Hartford, as revealed in an official statement by Colchester`s chief executive, Marie Partner, on Wednesday.

The players, who have really taken to one-time Rotherham boss Hartford in the nine months since he first arrived in Essex as a coach, have greeted the news that he is set to stay with delight.

They have backed the former Luton man, who was a hero alongside Newell in attack at Kenilworth Road during his playing days, to resist the London club`s overtures.

Midfielder Kevin Watson, speaking in his Evening Gazette column, said yesterday: "We all knew Mick was going to be linked with the Luton manager`s job. [He] is still highly respected at Kenilworth Road and when we played the Hatters [away, in September] he received a massive cheer.

"I don`t know Mick`s feelings, or whether he wants to be a manager again. [He] is a quality guy, a fantastic coach and top man with the players."

The choice that Hartford is facing, it would seem, is attempting to stave off relegation as new Luton boss - which is by no means unachievable should they want him - or staying with the U`s, alongside Geraint Williams, to continue aiding the side`s development.

Watson`s recent praise for Hartford was reflected in the comments that Colchester United captain Karl Duguid made earlier during the season in the Daily Mail, which were suggestive of Mick`s very positive impact on the team.

Of Hartford, Karl said: "Mick`s the nicest man in the world, but he`s frightening when you first meet him. On matchdays we get him to stand outside when they [the away team] come out. We`ve done it a few times."


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Matt_Us
Date:Friday March 23 2007
Time: 8:33AM

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P Plymouth 44 25 8 11 83 24
P Portsmouth 44 24 9 11 81 33
4 Luton 44 18 17 9 71 22
5 Exeter 44 20 8 16 68 18
6 Blackpool 44 17 16 11 67 22
7 Stevenage 44 20 6 18 66 7
8 Mansfield 44 17 14 13 65 5
9 Wycombe 44 18 11 15 65 4
10 Carlisle 44 16 17 11 65 -1
11 Cambridge 44 18 9 17 63 7
12 Colchester 44 17 12 15 63 6
13 Accrington 44 16 14 14 62 3
14 Grimsby 44 17 10 17 61 -2
15 Barnet 44 13 15 16 54 -6
16 Notts County 44 15 8 21 53 -22
17 Crewe 44 13 13 18 52 -11
18 Morecambe 44 14 9 21 51 -18
19 Crawley 44 13 11 20 50 -16
20 Yeovil 44 11 16 17 49 -13
21 Cheltenham 44 11 14 19 47 -16
22 Newport 44 11 12 21 45 -22
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R Leyton Orient 44 10 6 28 36 -36
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