Huddersfield Town’s progress should be judged on next three games, insists Tom Lees

Tom Lees says Huddersfield Town’s next three games will reveal how good a start they have made to the Championship season.

Tom Lees: Huddersfield defender has identified next three games as key to club’s ambitions. (Picture: Getty Images)

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The Terriers are in a cluster of seven clubs, starting with fifth-placed Luton Town, level on 21 points from 14 games. They host one of them, Millwall, on Saturday.

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They then travel to relegation-threatened Peterborough United and a Cardiff City side who by then could have a new manager before the league goes on hold for a fortnight for international football.

Kids in action at the Utilita Football Festival hosted by Huddersfield Town Foundation (Picture: Huddersfield Town Foundation)

Whether or not Huddersfield respond to last week’s defeat at Bournemouth as they did to August’s hammering by Fulham will have a big bearing on their chances of being play-off contenders this season, according to former Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday centre-back Lees.

“We’re a fine margin away from having a good start or a pretty average start with how tight it is,” he reflected. “These next three games will be vital because they will give us a good indication going into the next (international) break of where we stand.

“If we get a couple of good results in the next three, it will be a really good start.”

For all that the middle of the table is clogged up, Bournemouth, Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, with Premier League parachutes overhead, look a class apart so it is important not to over-react to a 3-0 defeat at Dean Court. Huddersfield responded to a 5-1 home defeat to Fulham with four wins in their next five league games.

Town defenders Matty Pearson, left, Tom lees, right, with David James at the Utilita Football Festival hosted by Huddersfield Town Foundation (Picture: Huddersfield Town Foundation)

“We always get down after a defeat but football’s a bit of a rollercoaster and you’ve got to not get too high or not get too low,” stressed Lees’s defensive partner Matty Pearson.

“These things happen,” added Lees. “They’ll probably beat a lot of teams at home this season. We had a bad result against Fulham but we bounced back and the little run we went on after that has put the foundations in place for a good start. We’ve got to aim to do the same again.

“It’s early doors and there’s a long way to go but I think the manager just wants a constant and consistent level of performance and that’s what we aim to do.

“More often than not if you’re on it as a team and you get to that level you’ve set, you’ll pick up some results. We’ve just got to carry on doing that.”

Kids enjoying the Utilita Football Festival hosted by Huddersfield Town Foundation (Picture: Huddersfield Town)

The defenders were speaking at the Utilita Football Festival hosted by Huddersfield Town Foundation, which they attended alongside Terriers women’s players Serena Fletcher and Ria Montgomery, and Utilita ambassador and former England goalkeeper David James.

“It’s important to show your face and give a bit of time,” said Lees. “We get a lot of support on the pitch so it’s nice for the roles to be reversed.”

Pearson, who had spells at Barnsley and Halifax Town earlier in his career, added: “The kids are so excited and it’s nice to see all the Huddersfield badges everywhere and all the kids with smiles on their faces.”

Chief executive Siobhan Atkinson says the Foundation has never been more important than in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Matty Pearson and Tom Lees signing autographs at the Utilita Football Festival hosted by Huddersfield Town Foundation (Picture: Huddersfield Town)

“There’s so many people who need our support and help for different reasons – it might be financial, it might be connection, communication,” she said.

“The last 18 months have been something none of us have experienced.

“I live on my own but I don’t know what that feels like when you’re 16, 17 years of age and you’re not at work every day, you don’t have that family communicating with you.

“We have a beautiful connection with our parent club. People know what it stands for and they’re aware of it and it gives us that point of difference to other organisations who maybe do very similar work, but we want to work with them and use their expertise.”

Kids in action at the Utilita Football Festival hosted by Huddersfield Town Foundation (Picture: Huddersfield Town)