The sight of contractors boarding up Graham Taylor’s statue outside Vicarage Road on Thursday morning elicits a range of emotions, but perhaps the biggest is how depressing it is that such a step is necessary.

The Hornets will meet their M1 rivals for the first time in 14 years tomorrow in a fixture that has a history of disorder. Against this backdrop and with it being so long since the two clubs last played each other, the authorities have put in place a number of precautionary measures, even though no fans are allowed to attend the game and it will not be shown in pubs or on live TV.

Read more: Graham Taylor statue boarded up ahead of Luton game

The kick-off time has been moved forward to lunchtime and extra police will be on duty in case there is trouble. People will have their own feelings about those measures, yet the sight of a statue being boarded up is more emotive, particularly when it is a tribute to man who did plenty to try and reduce the tension between elements of the clubs’ fanbases in the past.

Some have called it an over-reaction, but it is better for this protection to be put in place rather than run the risk of the statue being damaged by a mindless minority.

We hope the precautions prove to be just that and tomorrow’s game is remembered for the right reasons – what happens on the pitch.