Hatters boss Mick Harford spoke of his joy at achieving what he perceives to be “redemption” for being manager when the club dropped out of the Football League ten years ago when he held the final pre-match Press conference of his interim spell in the hot-seat today.
The 60-year-old has overseen the Town’s return to the Championship after 12 years away, exorcising the demons he has spoken about feeling since the unavoidable drop a decade ago courtesy of that unprecedented 30-point deduction.
With 11 wins from his 19 league games in charge, which have seen just two defeats, Harford has turned a five-point deficit to then-leaders Portsmouth into an unassailable four-point advantage over the south coast club ahead of Saturday’s final match of the season against Oxford.
Mick, who watched the Portsmouth-Peterborough game that clinched the promotion on iFollow on Tuesday night, said: "I'm pleased I was given the opportunity. The club was in a good place when I took over. We'd lost the manager and it could have been a bit disruptive, but fortunately it wasn't.
"I'm absolutely thrilled that I can say we got the team promotion to the Championship and it's a massive achievement.
"Those dark days still play on my mind, I've got to be honest with you, as I've got a passion, a love for the football club, and it is redemption - 100 per cent."
He added: “What I wanted was the players to be successful. I wanted the players to enjoy the way they’re playing and just try to manage them the way I thought best.
“They more than surpassed that in terms of the performances, the records they broke, the records they’ve set this season.
“It’s just been a monumental season.
"Some of the performances have been top level, some really, really good performances and thoroughly, thoroughly deserved, from everyone at the football club.
“From the board downwards, everyone in my opinion has made a massive contribution to getting us to where are now.
“It’s amazing, it’s monumental for the club, for the town, for everyone, for the players, for the staff, it’s just a magnificent achievement.
“In the last two seasons, two promotions, back-to-back, it’s colossal.”