Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray paid tribute to Luton Town boss John Still ahead of the rematch with his old club at One Call Stadium tonight (7.45pm).
Relegation-haunted Stags will be trying to make it four unbeaten home games on the trot tonight against a high-flying Hatters side who have now gone 10 League Two games unbeaten in their first season back in the League.
Murray said: “It’s definitely no surprise how well they’ve done.
“The club they have there, they have tremendous backing and ambition. It’s a club that went through the mill for a few years. But they’ve showed that togetherness I speak about to come through it and push on.
“I really love what the team stands for under John. It represents him and one of their biggest assets is hard work. They give everything every game and it is a credit to John what he has done there.”
Mansfield can cling to the statistic that Luton Town have never managed to win a league fixture at the One Call. The last four clashes there have ended up draws, but before that the Stags won six and drew two of the eight other meetings.
Indeed, Luton’s only win at Mansfield came in a League Cup shoot-out in 1989/90 which saw Luton win both legs in an aggregate 11-5 victory.
However, Stags gained cup revenge in 2010/11 when they beat the Hatters 1-0 at home in the FA Trophy semi-final first leg before a late penalty saw them earn a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road to reach Wembley.
The sides have enjoyed a good rivalry down the years, but Luton were very comfortable 3-0 winners when the sides clashed at Kenilworth Road in November in Murray’s final game as caretaker-manager before being appointed full-time.
Fourth-placed Luton’s last League defeat was a 3-0 loss at Morecambe back on 13th December.