Why Tom Lees was delighted to be ‘chucked in’ for Huddersfield Town debut

A BREATH of fresh air is Tom Lees’s candid observation when describing what his move to Huddersfield Town felt to him.

Tom Lees: Late call-up for Huddersfield Town against Preston North End.

It was clearing the air that the Terriers were concerned about on Tuesday as the hosts – with Lees in the heart of the backline – showed character and held their nerve to secure a priceless first league win of the season against Preston and pass a test after Saturday’s grim 5-1 defeat to Fulham.

Town were far from free-flowing, but displayed resolve and togetherness to answer a few important questions after the disgruntlement of the weekend - and a wretched home start.

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Former Sheffield Wednesday captain Lees said: “Behind the scenes, for the first week when I came in, it was a breath of fresh air for me.

“Fans and people at the club may have looked slightly worried at the league finish last season, but the set-up behind the scenes, what people don’t see, is brilliant and the manager is a big draw for me and also the dressing room and the characters.

“One thing you can never throw at this team is that they don’t put the effort in. We did not have the quality we wanted (against Preston) and it was not as flowing as we wanted and we did not create enough chances.

“That is something we are going to have to work on, but you can see that every player put their body on the line to hold on at the end.”

Lees is the first to admit that the circumstances of making his debut for Town were not exactly ideal.

After being greeted with warm applause when leaving the pitch after 76 minutes of a priceless Roses victory, the centre-back will have been rather settled about things following his promotion to the starting line-up in the warm-up to the game – as a result of Matty Pearson feeling unwell.

Lees added: “It felt great. You want to get off to a new start when you come to a new club. It was a difficult situation as I have not had a pre-season and I was meant to be playing for the B team (on Wednesday) to get my fitness up, but these things happen.

“We have had the Covid situation and Matty got injured, so it was kind of just a mental five minutes getting chucked into the team and I just tried to do what I could.

“I might not be in my best condition yet, but hopefully I can get better now.”