Lee Clark marks his third anniversary as Huddersfield Town manager with the visit of Bournemouth today and insists his players have got over the defeat to Charlton Athletic last week which brought an end to their spectacular 43-game unbeaten run.
After a near-two week break, Clark said the squad are refreshed and ready to continue their promotion charge against the Cherries, whom they beat on penalties to reach last season’s League One play-off final.
The south coast club have not repeated the exploits of last season and currently sit 16th in the table, making them firm underdogs at the Galpharm against a Terriers side one point off the automatic promotion places.
Clark said: “We were hurting down at The Valley, anyone who knows me will know how much I hate losing matches.
“However, the defeat is gone now – it’s history. There were lots of positives despite the result and we have to move on; we have 27 games to go, so let’s go for it.
“Training has been very positive and the players have been chomping at the bit to get back into competitive action.
“The squad parted ways with each other for a couple of days, which is always good because they are constantly living in each other’s pockets.
“The players look refreshed and they are like caged animals at the moment, which is only good for me as they are all trying to force their way into the reckoning.”
Two of those hoping to make the starting XI are loanees Alex Bruce and Jon Parkin, who have joined the club from Leeds United and Cardiff City respectively.
Bruce has yet to get off the bench, but Parkin made his debut in the 2-0 defeat at Charlton and could make his home bow today in the absence of the suspended Alan Lee.
Few Terriers fans will forget the pulsating semi-final second leg with Bournemouth in May when Town won 4-2 on penalties after the tie ended 4-4 on aggregate.
Little wonder Clark is refusing to underestimate Lee Bradbury’s team: “Lee, who I have a lot of time for, has a new-look squad there now and they are five unbeaten, so we are well aware of what they can do.
“We know it’s going to be very tough, but we’re very confident and we’re looking forward to the game.”
Bournemouth will be hoping to record a first win over Huddersfield since 1993 and have a full squad available.