City midfielder Paul McLaren returns to familiar territory at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, the ground where he turned pro in 1994.

He made over 200 appearances in a Luton shirt during a seven-year spell.

The Hatters have been ravaged by the 30-point penalty meted out by the Football League before a ball was kicked and are still marooned on zero.

McLaren admitted he feels for his old club and boss Mick Harford.

He said: “I know Mick well and he really is Mr Luton Town. The fans love him and he’s doing a decent job in very tough circumstances. He’s a strong personality and not the sort of manager you want to cross. I’ve heard a few stories about him!

“It was always going to be very hard with the points taken off them but the deduction has brought the club closer together because everyone’s rallying round. Any other time and you’d say they’re having a decent season.

“It’s such a shame because they are a good club and I’ve got some great memories from my time. I’m still best mates with some of the lads I was an apprentice with.

“If they do pull it off and somehow manage to stay up, the players will be classed as legends down there but they are going to need promotion-winning form to do that.

“Before last Saturday I thought they were still on Grimsby’s coat tails but Grimsby winning at Wycombe and Luton losing to Darlington has killed them because 17 points to safety is a huge amount to pull back.”