LEE CLARK is backing new loanee Danny Ward, of Bolton, to fill the considerable gap left in Huddersfield Town’s promotion push by Anthony Pilkington being ruled out for the season.
The Terriers wideman, who has netted 14 goals this term, suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle in the 2-1 victory over Rochdale a week last Tuesday.
Manager Clark moved quickly to replace Pilkington by signing Ward, who spent the final six months of last season on loan with Swindon Town.
The Robins were one of Town’s promotion rivals last term and Ward was in the starting XI as Danny Wilson’s side suffered play-off final heartache with a 1-0 defeat to Millwall at Wembley.
Clark, who handed Ward his Town debut in the midweek win over Brentford, said: “Danny is an outstanding player who was terrific for Swindon at this level last year. He scored nine goals from 32 games on the wing.
“He is direct and has a lot of pace and power. I had been asking manager Owen Coyle about his availability for a long time and he has finally let us have him.
“A lot of clubs were after him and we are thankful that we managed to sign him.”
On Pilkington, who last week underwent surgery, Clark added: “Anthony is in fantastic spirits and we will do everything we possibly can to make sure that continues.
“He will have ups and downs – it is always the case when you suffer a long-term injury. At times, you can become a bit downhearted when you see your team-mates going out and doing what you want to be doing.”
Town are today looking to match a long-standing club record by stretching their unbeaten run to 17 games – a feat last achieved in the 1924-25 League Championship-winning side when Herbert Chapman was in charge.
The Terriers moved to within touching distance of the record last Tuesday when Peter Clarke netted a stoppage time winner at Brentford.
Manager Clark said: “Peter has been inspirational since I brought him to the club last season. I knew what I was bringing in. I knew he was a leader, that is why I made him captain straight away.
“He leads from the front and he is a winner.”