Town chief buzzing ahead of ‘fantastic’ encounter

LEE CLARK insists a derby encounter with a promotion rival will act as the perfect tonic for Huddersfield Town.

The Terriers are looking to bounce back from two straight defeats after Bournemouth followed Charlton Athletic’s lead in beating the West Yorkshire club last weekend.

It means Huddersfield’s last win came four weeks ago, a 2-1 triumph at home to Notts County ensuring they set a new Football League record unbeaten run by eclipsing Nottingham Forest’s 42-game run.

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With a trip to Sheffield Wednesday, the club who have replaced Town in the second automatic promotion slot, coming today, Clark’s side are hoping to bounce back with a victory.

The Terriers manager said: “Sheffield Wednesday are doing really well and picking up lots of points. They are a big, powerful team who work extremely hard for each other and they have a fantastic crowd behind them in a lovely ground.

“I love Hillsborough. It is what I call a ‘proper football match’ against a team who are doing extremely well – I have a huge amount of respect for them.

“If we are right at it, we can cause them problems. I am looking forward to the game so much. It is a fantastic one and there could be anything between 25,000 and 30,000 there.

“It is a potential Premier League game in terms of the crowd, the atmosphere and the arena we are playing in. I am buzzing for the weekend.

“This is the right game for us after Bournemouth, 100 per cent.”

Town have enjoyed rich pickings in the Steel City over the past year or so with a 2-0 win at Hillsborough last season being followed by a 3-0 triumph against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in September.

A row over ticket prices led to many Terriers fans boycotting the game at the Lane but today the team will be backed by a travelling army of almost 4,000 fans. The visiting supporters will be keen to see a big improvement on last weekend’s performance when Huddersfield lost 1-0 at home to Bournemouth, the side they knocked out in the play-off semi-finals last May on penalties.

Clark was as frustrated as anyone at the Galpharm Stadium a week ago but insists his players have moved on and are ready to put a dent in Wednesday’s hugely impressive home record.

The Huddersfield manager said: “We haven’t dwelt on the result last weekend. We know that wasn’t a Huddersfield Town performance and we were all very disappointed with it.

“But we talked it through on Monday morning and looked at the reasons why it happened. We are looking to rectify it this weekend and I am sure we will.

“We want to make sure Sheffield Wednesday know they are in a game by making and creating opportunities. There was no questioning the effort and commitment last weekend but when we had the ball we were so poor.

“Basically, we didn’t put them under any pressure and that is not what we are about. But we have to push on. That was a one-off.”

Alan Lee, who in Crystal Palace colours famously scored at Hillsborough on the 2010 day Wednesday were relegated to League One, serves the final game of a three-match ban.