Town benefit thanks to no recall clause for star Holt

Grant Holt, right, has impressed during his loan spell at Huddersfield Town.
Grant Holt, right, has impressed during his loan spell at Huddersfield Town.
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UWE ROSLER may no longer be in situ as Wigan Athletic manager, but Chris Powell has plenty to thank him for.

The German was sacked by the Latics on November 13, paying the price for the club lying third-from-bottom in the Championship with Malky Mackay somewhat controversially named as his replacement this week.

But that was not before Rosler did a good turn for Huddersfield Town back on October 24 when he sanctioned the extension of Grant Holt’s loan to the maximum 93 days until December 28 – crucially not inserting a recall clause into the deal.

Town were the beneficiaries of Rosler’s fractured relations with Holt and it won’t be lost upon Latics fans that while he has been the talisman to the Yorkshire club moving in the right direction in the Championship table, their side are in the drop zone.

Despite his advancing years, Holt, 33 – who will lead the line against one of his former clubs Sheffield Wednesday in tomorrow’s televised Yorkshire derby – has been a revelation for Town, who hope he will continue to star for them until the end of the year.

And there is nothing Mackay can do about it if he tried.

On the Holt situation, Powell said: “I don’t envisage speaking to Malky as yet, or to Wigan.

“Obviously Malky will have to get himself going at Wigan, so he will plan without him, I would think initially.

“I am hoping he is planning without him for a long time.

“When we first had Grant, we only had him for 28 days. But we renewed and extended it.

“Some teams put in a recall, like I normally do as you never know what might happen, but Wigan said no. They said it was fine and that we could keep him.

“We know then that the relationship between Uwe and Grant was not at his hottest and we took advantage of that.

“He is with us until the end of December and, hopefully, a bit longer than that.

“We can just get on with Grant in the way we have done and hopefully he will continue playing at the level he has in terms of creating chances for others and scoring goals himself.”

Sky TV come to Town on Saturday for the lunchtime clash with the Owls with the hosts seeking a re-run of their White Rose encounter in front of the cameras against their South Yorkshire rivals almost exactly 12 months ago.

Martin Paterson and Adam Clayton put a training-ground bust-up behind them with goals in Town’s 2-1 win at Hillsborough, although Wednesday claimed revenge with a comfortable 2-0 victory in the return on February 22.

It was one of many home displays in which Town flattered to deceive in the final months of last season, but Powell is aiming to reestablish the John Smith’s Stadium as a powerbase again.

Powell’s only home reverse thus far came in his bow as Town boss in a loss on September 13 to Middlesbrough, with the five games since showing marked progress.

It culminated in an imperious 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in their last home clash, which many seasoned Town observers felt was the hosts’ best performance for many a year.

Powell said: “The way we performed in the last home game has kind of raised the bar and standard. If we get anywhere near that on Saturday, I know we will be in for a good performance.

“I’d love us to play well and win well like we did against Forest and like that to happen every week, but I understand it won’t. But why not strive to do that.

“We want to do well on Saturday as people have been talking about us and slowly but surely, we’ve improved our points tally. But we need to sustain that.”

Powell is hoping that first-team coach Steve Thompson will still be in the home dug-out, despite ongoing interest from Leeds.

He admits the prospect of Thompson becoming assistant to head coach Neil Redfearn could happen, but in an ideal world, he wants him to stay put.

Powell said: “I know Neil knows Steve very well and is looking for someone.

“So if we add it up, it may be something that could happen. I haven’t spoken to Neil, but I’d like Steve to stay – but equally, I have been in this position before.

“If that comes up and there’s a possibility of him going, then I am sure he may want to talk to them and then it will be his decision.”

Meanwhile, Powell insists the appointment of Mackay by Wigan – while the FA is looking into allegations he sent homophobic, sexist and racist text messages while managing Cardiff – is a matter purely for their chairman Dave Whelan.

He said: “It is a shame that one man has lost his job in Uwe, who I know well. But equally, I know Malky.

“Yes, he has had his difficulties that may continue. But that is nothing to do with myself or us here at Huddersfield.

“It is Dave Whelan’s decision and he has made it in regards to the ongoing process with Malky.

“So he feels it is the right decision for his football club and who are we to say it isn’t. It is down to Dave.”