Beckford ruled out for over a month with injury

HUDDERSFIELD Town owner-chairman Dean Hoyle has confirmed caretaker-boss Mark Lillis will stay in charge for Saturday’s Championship home encounter with runaway leaders Cardiff City.

But the former Town favourite will have to do without star striker Jermaine Beckford who has been ruled out for at least a month after scans confirmed he has torn his hamstring.

The 29-year-old had only been on the pitch as a late substitute for three minutes in last week’s home win over Crystal Palace when he sustained the injury and was forced off.

Beckford, sidelined for five games at the end of November and the beginning of December with a similar problem, has missed a total of seven matches since joining Huddersfield on loan from Leicester in September.

Lillis has presided over a draw, win and a defeat in his three matches in charge thus far, having been entrusted with the reins on a temporary basis following the sacking of Simon Grayson exactly a fortnight ago.

Fresh speculation yesterday linked Wigan Athletic assistant-boss Graeme Jones with a switch to Town, although given that the 42-year-old has snubbed interest from a Premier League side in Swansea City last summer and Burnley to stay loyal to Latics’ manager Roberto Martinez in the past eight months, a successful move by the John Smith’s Stadium side looks unlikely.

Others currently figuring in the betting include Nigel Adkins, Mark Robins and Paul Ince.

Hoyle is staying tight-lipped regarding the managerial situation at Town, but when contacted by the Yorkshire Post, did clarify that Lillis will take charge of this weekend’s home clash with Cardiff.

Despite the clamour by many Town supporters for an appointment to be made sooner rather than later, given the gravity of the decision ahead for Hoyle, the Town supremo is prepared to take his time to make sure he arrives at the right decision.

Town currently lie eighth-from-bottom, but are only five points of the side occupying the final relegation spot, Barnsley.

Meanwhile, Matt Done admits he had resigned himself to spending the rest of the season on the fringes at Oakwell – until SPL side Hibernian offered him a loan lifeline with just a few hours left of last Thursday’s transfer window deadline day. A call from his hotel saw him dash to a hotel close to his Manchester home to fax through the necessary paperwork with only minutes to spare – much to the winger’s relief.

Done, who made his debut for the final 19 minutes as a substitute in the Hibees’ Scottish Cup victory over Aberdeen last weekend, said: “It didn’t look as if anything would be happening on transfer deadline day. There had been a few whispers, but nothing concrete. It was a frantic last few hours, but thankfully it all went through.”