WEEKEND derby hero Adam Hammill is confident Huddersfield Town’s victory over old foes Leeds United can help kick-start the Terriers’ campaign.
The winger turned in a man-of-the-match showing and created two goals in Town’s thrilling 3-2 success at the John Smith’s Stadium, which ended an alarming sequence of six matches without a win in all competitions.
It was the timeliest of triumphs for Town, whose anxious fans would have been forgiven for starting to cast their minds back to last season’s bleak winter return had their winless streak been extended against Leeds.
Even more so given that suspended top-scorer and talisman forward James Vaughan will not return to their ranks until the White Rose clash at Sheffield Wednesday on November 23.
Thankfully for them any such fears were allayed with victory in the A62 derby, much to the delight of Hammill and the home contingent in the 18,309 crowd.
Hammill said: “We nipped it in the bud. It was a magnificent three points.
“Derby games can be a little bit scrappy, but we put on a good show and showed character, determination and commitment and got the three points, which I thought we deserved.
“Especially against the old enemy, results like that can turn seasons around. I think it will give us the confidence we need.”
Hammill may have been clutching the man-of-the-match champagne, but he felt that several others were worthy of honourable mentions, most notably manager Mark Robins.
The Town chief’s pre-match plans had been hit by a training ground bust-up on Friday involving Adam Clayton and Martin Paterson, with Robins omitting both from his match-day squad following reports of a set-to between the pair.
Robins also elected not to include Anthony Gerrard in his match-day 18, but their team-mates all stepped up to the plate, including the likes of match-winner Jon Stead and another ‘old head’ in Keith Southern – in his first league start of the season.
Sean Scannell also made a decisive impact from the substitutes’ bench to set up Stead’s 77th-minute winner, conclusive proof that Town’s squad is in rude health, according to Hammill.
He said: “The manager took a few key decisions where a few key players didn’t play and weren’t even in the squad. He made those decisions and, luckily enough, they worked for us.
“The lads who came in took their opportunity and we showed we’ve got a lot of squad in depth now and can push on.
“Jon is a top, top lad and it’s a fairytale really – to come back and do the full circle back to his boyhood club and to score the winner against Leeds United – it doesn’t get much better.
“We are all delighted for him; the whole team and the staff, just to get his first goal and hopefully he can kick on now.
“Sean also came on and changed the game and we have players who can come off the bench. Duane (Holmes) again was also excellent and players like him can make a difference for us.
“We have two players in each position who can play equally as well. We have different dimensions and can change formations and mix things up. The gaffer has a good mix of players.”
Hammill’s 63rd-minute cross, deflected in off the unfortunate Tom Lees, turned the tide in Town’s favour against Leeds, with the Whites on terms for just four minutes after Dexter Blackstock’s leveller 10 minutes later.
Leeds had previously been lucky opponents for Hammill, who scored a stunning solo strike against them for former club Barnsley in a 5-2 Oakwell success in September, 2010 and he was delighted to again cash in at their expense.
He added: “The (second) goal was sun-assisted...
“I have played against Leeds a few times and tend to do alright against them. You just had to listen to the atmosphere there on Saturday and the first 10 or 15 minutes made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
“I remember after 25 minutes that I had to take a second breath because the adrenalin just takes you. I am just delighted our fans went away with the bragging rights.”