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Club News


9 February 2013

Caretaker manager gives his Cardiff verdict

Caretaker Manager Mark Lillis told htafc.dom that his side showed great courage to pick up a valuable point against table-toppers Cardiff City.

The visitors had won 11 of their last 15 matches, but Lillis’ men kept a crucial clean-sheet that he believes could be vital at the end of the season.

“We’ve got to look at it that points on the board are important and sometimes you have to set the stall out and be happy with a point,” Lillis said.

“The clean sheets against Palace and the clean sheet against Cardiff are good. Teams around us are thinking that it’s going to be hard to come to Huddersfield. 

“If we got beat in those two games, teams will be fancying their chances when they come here and we don’t want that. 

“We didn’t get a lot of chances, but it was a well-earned point and I hope the fans go away and respect that.

“The main aim for the Club at the minute is to stay in the Championship and all the lads are playing for the shirt. That’s what I did as a player and I’m glad that’s what they’re doing.”

Lillis also believed that the performance against the Bluebirds was down to the work put in during a week spent looking at tactics.

“Instead of going with a diamond, we went with Scannell (Sean) and Clayts (Adam Clayton) to make it hard for their midfield as that’s where they’ve scored a fair few goals,” he said.

“They play direct, so even when we attacked, we had to defend strong. They are good at counter attacking so we had to make sure that our defence was always switched on even when we were attacking. 

“It was a big thing that I said before we went out and it worked because we’ve left here today with a clean sheet.”

Joel Lynch replaced Peter Clarke in the centre of defence following the concussion he suffered against Derby County last weekend and Lillis held special praise for the defensive performance against Cardiff City.

“The lads put their lives on the line. They were blocking shots, Alex (Smithies) made saves and we nearly scored a few,” Lillis added.

“We’ve got some great leaders and when you see that as a manager it gives you belief. Everyone is pulling their weight – the fans are doing it, the staff are doing it, the players are doing it and it is great to see. 

“I’ve come to work today pitting my wits against the leading manager in the Championship and I’ve enjoyed it. Football is a fantastic life and we’re all embracing that at the minute.”

Town travel to Leicester on Tuesday for the FA Cup replay, however Lillis has concerns over the availability of some players.

“The specialist said that with the type of injury he (Peter Clarke at Derby County) suffered, you can’t participate in a game of football for two weeks. 

“Lee (Novak) also won’t make Tuesday, but you have adversity in life and it’s something that we’ve got to deal with. We know we’ve not got Danns (Neil) for Tuesday either, so there’s definitely a change there. 

“If we think that’s a great point and relax tomorrow they might just lose focus. You can’t come off the gas, we’ve got a big week and if we get a result at Leicester then we’ve got Wigan at the weekend.”

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