Lee Nicholls starts Huddersfield Town's campaign as No 1, Carlos Corberan confirms

Lee Nicholls will start the season as Huddersfield Town's first-choice goalkeeper after securing their first cup win under Carlos Corberan.

PLEASED: Carlos Corberan was happy with Huddersfield Town's workout at Sheffield Wednesday
PLEASED: Carlos Corberan was happy with Huddersfield Town's workout at Sheffield Wednesday

The goalkeeper signed from Milton Keynes Dons in the summer was not over-worked in the 90 minutes of football which saw Sheffield Wednesday and the Terriers play out a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough, but he saved two penalties in the shoot-out which followed to put his team into the second round.

It confirmed that he has leapfrogged Ryan Schofield, who finished last season as No 1, in the pecking order.

"Even though Lee Nicholls hasn't played any minutes yet in the Championship at his age he's mature enough to face this kind of situation and he showed that today," said coach Corberan, whose club completed the signing of former Wednesday and Leeds United centre-back Tom Lees earlier in the day.

"We've improved in goal because we continue to have the option of (Ryan) Schofield and the experience and maturity of Lee Nicholls."

Lees will need some time to get his fitness up to speed having been without a club this summer, but Corberan thinks he will bring important qualities to a defensive unit stripped of a great deal of experience in the clearout which followed last season.

"His background talks better than anything I can say of him," said Corberan.

"It was important to have experienced centre-backs because we have lost (Tommy) Elphick, (Christopher) Schindler, (Richard) Stearman and (Richard) Keogh. All this players have lots of experience and minutes in the Championship so Tom Lees is going to help the team to grow.

"When a player plays many minutes in the Championship it's because they have that level."

Lewis O'Brien was outstanding for Huddersfield, but the downside of that is that it will do nothing to discourage the interest around him. Leeds have been linked with the midfielder.

“For us, O’Brien is a key player," said Corberan when asked if he could keep him. "As a coach I’ve a lot of respect for him as he’s a player performing very well and has a good mentality.

“I understand any rumour that can happen close to him, I know how important O’Brien is for our team and our club and, with luck, I hope he stays.”

Huddersfield could have won the game in the 90 minutes but for some excellent last-ditch defending and a missed header at the death from Jordan Rhodes, who made some amends by scoring the first penalty against the side who released him in the summer.

Like opposite number Darren Moore, Corberan felt it was a good warm-up for Saturday's opening Championship game at Derby County.

"We moved this game a week earlier because we wanted to play with a lot of determination and for us it was very important to continue in the cup," he said.

"When you play a cup game it's all or nothing so we were clear we needed to give everything to continue in this important competition.

"Always this type of game prepares you for the demands of the Championship.

"We were playing an opponent who have many players with a lot of background in the Championship and we know their style of play so I knew the game would be very competitive and balanced.

"It's always important to have a situation like this before we start the league.

"We wanted to start the competition in the best way, especially with our fans there.

"This wasn't a preparation game, it was a competitive game.

"In some moments when you are feeling the support and you know you are not alone, the people remind you you are not just playing for yourself."You know you are playing for these people."