HUDDERSFIELD TOWN captain Peter Clarke says he never gave a thought to ‘spitting his dummy out’ after being dropped for the second time in succession over the festive season.
While understandably disappointed at his dual demotion, Clarke – recalled last weekend and set to lead the side against Birmingham today – took the blows on the chin and, along with his Town colleagues, showed plenty of character in last Saturday’s FA Cup win at Charlton.
That had been sadly lacking in the previous game, a 6-1 trouncing at Leicester City, and Town are now eyeing a first league win in 11 games, against the besieged Blues.
On being dropped, Clarke said: “Me and the manager had a little chat and he put his point across and gave me his reasons.
“It is part and parcel of football. The manager decided to change it around for whatever reason, but if you spit your dummy out, you are not really helping anyone. The best thing you can do is encourage the lads; we win and lose together and it is a collective thing.
“The group is always the most important thing. From a personal point of view, I was pleased to get back into the side against Charlton and for us to put in a really positive performance and for me personally to do well.”
Today sees Lee Clark return to Town for the first time since his shock axing just under 12 months ago, but Grayson – quickly lined up as his successor and appointed just six days after his departure – is playing down any extra personal significance.
He insists he remains on good terms with Clark, who was ironically linked with the Leeds job directly after Grayson was sacked on January 31 last year – ahead of being dismissed by Town.
Grayson said: “I have had a couple of conversations with Lee and texts have flown by and he was one of the first to congratulate us when we got promoted.
“But that is part and parcel of management. We all know each other and you send texts out and best wishes regardless of someone taking your job or you taking someone else’s.
“Everyone will see it as Lee coming back to his former club.
“But it’s not me against Lee, but Huddersfield against Birmingham and us trying to get three points.”