Positive memories prepare Kay for the big occasion

Huddersfield Town’s semi-final hero Antony Kay is no stranger to League One play-off finals.

The midfielder who headed the extra-time equaliser and scored the decisive penalty against Bournemouth, helped hometown team Barnsley defeat Swansea on penalties in the 2006 League One play-off final at the Millennium Stadium.

“You always have memories and if they’re good memories, you keep them,” reflected the 28-year-old.

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“Barnsley came sixth in the table that year, then lost at home to Huddersfield and had to come here to the Galpharm to win and we did that.

“Then, in the final, Swansea were favourites, but we took it to extra time and did it on penalties.

“Having been there and done it and having got those positive memories you know how to do it, you know how you’re going to feel on the day and that definitely helps.”

Kay rests somewhere in the middle of Huddersfield’s hungry young players and the evergreen element that includes Kevin Kilbane and goalkeeper Ian Bennett.

But it is that blend that he believes will prove vital at Old Trafford tomorrow.

Kay said: “We have got quite a lot of experienced players who have been there and done it, played internationals etc and that’s all going to help.

“All the experienced players are helping the younger lads but we’re a relaxed bunch in there and we’ve just got to take it into Sunday.

“For the chairman, all the staff and the fans it would mean everything to win the final and this is the next step for Huddersfield Town.”

One man hoping one last good week of training will convince manager Lee Clark he is worthy of a starting place is striker Lee Novak.

The 21-year-old has scored five goals in 33 appearances this season, 21 of which came from the bench, and whether he figures from the start tomorrow or not, he is confident the club has the infrastructure to use the play-off final as a springboard for a Premier League push next season.

“We’ve seen what the promoted clubs have done this season, Millwall and Leeds both did well and of course Norwich won promotion to the Premier League,” he said.

“There’s no reason why we can’t get promoted twice. It’s definitely achievable here. You see the ground we’ve got and the new training ground being built, plus we’ve got the players and the staff to go up another level.

“There’s nearly 30,000 following us to Old Trafford, it’s going to be a massive occasion; great for the club, the fans, everyone.”