SIMON GRAYSON is using experience of two previous attempts at winning promotion from League One via the play-offs to ensure Huddersfield Town are ready for next weekend’s first leg encounter with Milton Keynes Dons.
The Terriers’ hopes of finishing in the top two crashed early last month courtesy of three straight defeats.
It means Town have known for a few weeks that a place in the play-offs awaited them for a third consecutive year and Grayson has ensured all their preparations have been tailored towards being ready for the semi-finals.
He said: “We gave the lads a couple of days off this week, on Wednesday and Thursday. We did the same last week as we want to make sure they are fresh for the semi-finals.
“As soon as automatic promotion was beyond us, we had to tailor our approach to make sure we will be ready for the MK Dons game.”
Grayson’s two previous play-off appearances as manager ended in contrasting fashions as Blackpool went up in 2007 but Leeds United lost in the semi-finals to Millwall two years later.
Town will face MK Dons with the only thing to be decided today being whether the first leg, a week today, is at home or away.
If Huddersfield beat Yeovil Town and the Dons lose at home to Walsall, Grayson’s men will finish fourth and, therefore, have home advantage in the second leg on Tuesday, May 15.
The Terriers manager said: “I can sense from the lads that they are itching to get the play-offs under way. We booked our place a while ago so now we want to get going.
“No one wants to get injured and no one wants to get suspended because we are coming up to the biggest part of the season. It can’t come round quick enough but we also know how important it will be to finish the regular season on a high with a win.”
As part of the club’s preparations for the play-offs, top scorer Jordan Rhodes was rested in last week’s 1-1 draw at Walsall.
The League One’s most deadly frontman may again sit out today’s game with Yeovil to ensure he is fresh to face the Dons a week today.
Grayson said: “Jordan has had a huge responsibility on his shoulders this season with all the attention there has been on him.
“He is an important player for us and we want him to be firing next week. It is the same with the whole team. The key is getting the right balance between being right for the play-offs and also ending the season on a high.”
Alan Lee (knee) has trained this week but is unlikely to be risked ahead of the play-offs.
Last six games: Huddersfield Town WLLLWD, Yeovil Town DWLLDW.
Referee: C Berry (Surrey).
Last time: Huddersfield Town 4 Yeovil Town 2; September 18, 2010; League One.
SkyBet odds: Huddersfield to win 8-13, Yeovil to win 9-2, Draw 11-4.