Axed manager Clark certain Town will go up as Grayson steps in

Lee Clark. (Picture by Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian)
Lee Clark. (Picture by Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian)
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LEE Clark is adamant the squad he has left behind at Huddersfield Town will win promotion from League One this season.

The 39-year-old was sacked by the Terriers eight days ago after chairman Dean Hoyle lost faith in the club being able to secure a place in the top two.

Defeat to Sheffield United the previous night had left Town four points adrift of second place, a gap that has since grown to seven points due to the Blades beating Preston North End last weekend and Huddersfield being without a game.

Clark said: “Huddersfield will go up, without a shadow of a doubt. Simon (Grayson, new Town manager) knows that and everyone knows that. They have a fantastic group of players and the squad is brilliant.

“Hopefully, it will be in the top two. They are due to play Yeovil on May 5 and I will raise a glass of champagne to celebrate. Or if not, May 26 and the play-off final I will do exactly the same then.”

Hoyle informed Clark of the news he had been sacked during a short telephone call and the former Town manager, who has already been linked with a possible move to Wolverhampton Wanderers, hopes the club will quickly settle his severance package.

Clark added: “I texted him (Hoyle) to say he had made a good appointment and that I hope they go for promotion. But in terms of anything else, my advisers and the LMA (League Managers’ Association) have heard nothing other than a holding position from the club’s solicitors.

“I am hopeful this situation can be sorted and handled in the correct manner. I just want it sorting out in the right and proper manner. I worked extremely hard for the club and I have moved it forward with huge strides.

“It is not just me; there are three other great lads in Terry McDermott, Paul Stephenson and Steve Watson plus their families. Hudersfield have moved on with their management team, just let us move on with our careers.”

On the moment that signalled the end of his Town reign, Clark added: “I received a call and it was to the point, saying the owner didn’t believe I could deliver promotion. It is obviously something I dispute.

“The owner said he had become worried I couldn’t deliver getting back into the top two. Also, he said maybe I couldn’t handle the pressure if it came to the play-offs again. Obviously, we lost in the play-off final but it was very close until the first goal went in. So, again, I have to disagree with that.”

Clark was yesterday shortlisted for the 2012 Football League Award for Outstanding Managerial Achievement alongside Brighton manager Gus Poyet and Crystal Palace boss Dougie Freedman. The award is voted for by Football Manager website users.

Grayson will take charge of Town for the first time against Exeter City this weekend.