MARK ROBINS is remaining tight-lipped over Huddersfield Town’s new penalty taker – and all will be revealed when the Terriers are awarded their next spot-kick.
The Town chief has reached a resolution on his new man entrusted with duties from 12 yards out after James Vaughan was relieved of that role following a miss in last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
The miss from the stand-in Town captain – linked with a move to Celtic recently with the club moving quickly to quash all the speculation – was his second this season.
In the context of both games, each miss proved costly with his spurned effort in Suffolk on 25 minutes blowing the visitors’ hopes of claiming a two-goal buffer, with the Tractor Boys hitting back to triumph 2-1 after Town had taken the lead.
His 84th-minute penalty in the game with visiting Blackpool on September 28 shuddered the crossbar and effectively cost Town two points in a 1-1 draw – with the striker revealing himself to be ‘devastated’ after the miss. Now a new man has taken over his mantle, but Robins is keeping tight-lipped.
Candidates are likely to include midfield men Adam Clayton and Ollie Norwood, who both took penalties in Championship matches last season.
He said: “I have decided who will take the next penalty. But everyone will have to wait until we get one to find out.
“There are some good candidates, but I don’t want to make too much of it.”
Backing his captain to hit back following his unfortunate miss, Robins added: “Sportsmen are resilient and James has responded brilliantly this week.
“Missing the penalty affected him on the pitch and he felt more responsible as the captain.
“He is only young though and leading the team out is a new experience for him. He has a decent record as captain so far with three wins from four games.”
With the midway point of the season not far off, Robins remains satisfied, by and large, with Town’s progress and feels supporters should be as well.
Highlights have included sweet home wins over Leeds and Burnley and a 5-1 blitzing of Bournemouth.
Yet Robins still wants more and has called on his troops to be a touch more assertive and add a little more substance to their style in today’s clash with the Royals.
He added: “The game is another opportunity for us to prove we are progressing.
“I think the fans can see that. I regularly get them coming up to me to talk about our style of football and it’s great to know what they are thinking.”
Big defender Sean Morrison misses out on a return to the John Smith’s Stadium where he spent a productive loan spell in the club’s promotion-winning campaign of 2012-13.
One man who is available is Royals goal predator Adam Le Fondre and Robins says his side must be wary of the prolific marksman, who he knows plenty about after signing him during his time at Rotherham United.