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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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2 Plymouth 38 22 6 10 72 18
3 Portsmouth 38 19 8 11 65 25
4 Stevenage 38 19 4 15 61 12
5 Luton 38 15 15 8 60 20
6 Carlisle 38 15 14 9 59 0
7 Exeter 38 17 7 14 58 16
8 Blackpool 38 14 15 9 57 20
9 Mansfield 38 14 13 11 55 3
10 Wycombe 38 15 10 13 55 1
11 Colchester 38 15 9 14 54 3
12 Cambridge 37 15 8 14 53 6
13 Grimsby 38 14 9 15 51 -2
14 Accrington 37 12 12 13 48 -1
15 Barnet 38 11 15 12 48 -5
16 Morecambe 38 13 7 18 46 -13
17 Yeovil 38 10 15 13 45 -9
18 Crewe 38 11 12 15 45 -11
19 Crawley 38 12 9 17 45 -16
20 Notts County 38 12 7 19 43 -23
21 Hartlepool 38 10 11 17 41 -15
22 Cheltenham 38 9 12 17 39 -14
23 Newport 38 7 12 19 33 -20
24 Leyton Orient 38 9 5 24 32 -26
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