Lillis rallies the troops after stepping in again

Hudderfield Town's caretaker manager Mark Lillis (Picture Bruce Rollinson).
Hudderfield Town's caretaker manager Mark Lillis (Picture Bruce Rollinson).
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AFTER a chastening opening day that saw Huddersfield Town lose not only their first match of the season but also manager Mark Robins, the club’s hierarchy will be hoping Mark Lillis can once again prove a safe pair of hands as interim manager.

The Terriers’ well-respected Academy chief has been handed the reins as the search for a new manager gets under way. Taking charge of first-team affairs is nothing new to the one-time striker, who had five games at the helm during a three-week period early in 2013 between the sacking of Simon Grayson and the appointment of Robins.

Lillis proved adept in the role, claiming two victories – in the process ending a 12-game winless run in the league – and losing just once to buy the board sufficient time to search for a new manager.

A repeat this time around would do very nicely, especially with tonight’s Capital One Cup tie at Chesterfield being followed by away trips to Cardiff City, Reading and Watford before the end of the month plus a home game against Charlton Athletic.

For his part, Lillis – who took training yesterday in conjunction with assistant manager Steve Thompson and first-team coach Steve Eyre – has called on everyone at Huddersfield to pull together.

He said: “As a club – staff, players and fans alike – we have to pull together and move on.

“Due to the integration of the first team and Academy set-up at Canalside (Town’s training ground), the first-team players see me every day.

“That makes it as smooth a transition for them as possible, which is a positive.

“We have a Cup game at Chesterfield, which is an important one for the club and players after the performance and result on Saturday (v Bournemouth).

“We must go into the tie looking to win and play how we can. A win could kick off a run. I know the fans will get behind the players if they put a shift in and we’ve challenged the players to do that.”

Robins had indicated a desire to start Joe Murphy in the Cup, but it is unclear if that plan has now been shelved.

Last six games: Chesterfield WDWWWW, Huddersfield Town LDWLWL.

Last time: Chesterfield 0 Huddersfield Town 2; March 20, 2012; League One.

Referee: G Sutton (Lincolnshire).