Date:Saturday May 28 2011
LEE Clark takes Huddersfield Town into the biggest game of their season and the biggest game of Clark's managerial career to date.
The Terriers are just 90 minutes away from the ecstasy of promotion or the agony of defeat. A day that will be fantastic for the winners and one to forget for the losers.
So what does Lee Clark think ahead of the game, he spoke to htafc.com:-
'I feel good, but at the end of the day it is all about the players. These are the games that you want to be involved in as a player and manager.'
'After Sunday my players will have played at Old Trafford and the Emirates this season, which shows the steps we have made; we need to replicate the kind of performance we showed against Arsenal. We have taken it fairly easy with the lads since the semi-final victory; they had last Thursday off, trained on Friday and then we set off for the midlands in the afternoon. On Saturday we trained at Birmingham City's training complex and then from then on the lads rested but stayed together as a group. Half of the group golfed and other half of the group went clay pigeon shooting and then on the Sunday, we all went paintballing before watching 'Survival Sunday' unfold on Sky.
'I wanted the lads to rest but be in a controlled environment. I wanted control over their activities over the weekend; they needed to re-charge their batteries and keep their fantastic team spirit. To have an eleven day break between games is something we have not been used to this season. Generally our games have come thick and fast, however, the break has given us a chance to rest the players ahead of Sunday. All the lads are training very well - they are all trying to push me and urge me to give them one of the eleven starting spots on Sunday.'
So what about the squad, is everyone fighting fit? Internet rumours (Twitter) suggest that even Anthony Pilkington is asking to be fit to play!
'Everybody is fighting fit; even the injured lads like Anthony Pilkington and Alex Smithies have been knocking at the door trying to prove their fitness! The lads will be nervous, but that is normal, the prize at stake is massive. They want to do well for everyone involved with the Club; they are looking forward to playing at one of the best footballing arenas in world football.
'The lads enjoy playing in front of big crowds, which was highlighted at the Emirates when they put in a superb performance. We will play the game and not the occasion; we are up against a very good team in Peterborough and we know what they are all about. I have got huge respect for Darren (Ferguson) and his staff - he is a good guy - but from 3pm on Sunday I want to beat him. I believe the respect is mutual; we have had some good encounters this season and hopefully Sunday will be another.
The two sides head into the game fairly evenly matched both with a victory over each other this season as well as one draw at the Galpharm.
Clark is determined to see the job through after a long slog of a season, a win tomorrow would see Town back in the Championship, a prospect that players, fans and management alike would love to see become a reality.
Lee Clark added:-
'I want to deliver for the people who care about the Club - especially the Chairman. Dean (Hoyle) is unique as an owner as he is fan, and knows everything there is to know about Huddersfield Town. He used to watch from the terraces, which I believe he still prefers to do over the Director's box! He is desperate to bring success to this Club, as he knows I am. We are very similar in terms of the way we go about doing business.
'On Sunday it is not just about the talent and ability of the players on the pitch, it is also about the mental side and whether the players can handle the magnitude of the occasion. If you are not mentally tough you will not be able to handle the day, you need to be mentally strong if you want to make it to the top.
'It was for games like Sunday why I changed the squad around during the summer and acquired players with experience. The likes of Kevin Kilbane have played in World Cups and his experience and knowledge will be invaluable. However, even the younger lads are grasping the situation and responding really well to it on the field.'
Lee Clark had a final rallying call to the Town faithful who will be travelling in huge numbers on Sunday, approx 31,000 tickets have been sold for the tie so far!!
'The fans will be massive on Sunday; wherever we have gone this season the supporters have followed us tremendously, whether it be Yeovil or Walsall, they have always backed the team. There will be 30,000 plus at Old Trafford which will create an electric atmosphere, all willing the players on from the first whistle to the last. They played a massive role in helping the lads get to the final; when Bournemouth went ahead they really did get behind the boys and helped pick them up and drive them to victory.'
Whatever happens on Sunday it has certainly been a season of growth at Huddersfield Town and one that will be fondly remembered for many reasons, lets keep everything crossed it will all be overshadowed with a win at Old Trafford.!!
Date:Saturday May 28 2011
Opposition Views: Reading (Friday December 13 2013)
Team News: Ipswich vs Huddersfield (Saturday December 7 2013)
Tractor Boys Vs Terriers (Friday December 6 2013)
Lucky Charm Smith thanks Skipper (Friday December 6 2013)
Norwood scoops BWF player of the month award (Friday December 6 2013)
Burnley Away Tickets go on sale today (Friday December 6 2013)
Cyrus Christie leaving City? (Friday December 6 2013)
Spetch to play waiting game (Friday December 6 2013)
Not For Sale Bhoys (Friday December 6 2013)
Keith Southern not making the trip (Friday December 6 2013)
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