Academy job still high on agenda for Lillis

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Bookmakers don’t often get it wrong but Mark Lillis has reiterated his commitment to remaining in charge of Huddersfield Town’s Academy as the odds on him being named as the club’s next permanent manager continued to tumble.

The past week has seen the Terriers, under Lillis’s stewardship, end a 12-game winless run in the Championship and force a replay against in-form Leicester City in the FA Cup

It is, therefore, perhaps no surprise that his chances of succeeding Simon Grayson should have been talked up since Wednesday’s win over Crystal Palace.

The man himself, however, insists his focus has not been affected as Huddersfield head to Derby County today.

Lillis said: “I am under no pressure from the chairman; he is just telling me to get on with it. I am planning for the Derby game and then we have a full week before the Cardiff game.

“I am just trying to get the best out of the team.

“I am taking the team on a caretaker basis until Dean Hoyle says otherwise.

“To see the fans at the end of the game, as a former player and former captain here, was fantastic. I got an unbelievable high from that. However, I am still Academy manager.

“We have an FA Youth Cup tie on Tuesday night that is so important for our young players and I don’t want to be seen as jumping ship. That is not me. Those lads deserve better.

“I came in during January 2012 to set up the foundations for the Academy for the future of this club. I have got Under-14s and Under-15s coming through who will hopefully be in our team in two or three years’ time and I am focussing on that.”

Town and Crystal Palace have been charged over the post-match melee that saw players from both clubs square up to each other on the pitch.

The Eagles were left incensed by what they consider to have been a clear elbow by Alan Lee. Ian Holloway was particular incensed and security had to remain in the tunnel area for more than half an hour after Town’s 1-0 win to allow tempers to subside.

Both clubs have until 4pm on Wednesday to answer the charge of failing to control their players.

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