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LILLIS: WE HAD FAITH IN OUR TEAM

12 February 2013

Town’s Caretaker boss on the Cup win at Leicester

Huddersfield Town Caretaker Manager Mark Lillis explained that the FA Cup Fourth Round replay win at Leicester City was for the Club’s supporters in his post-match press conference.

“I’m full of joy, excitement and pride right now,” Mark told htafc.com

“The big thing tonight was belief; we focussed on that at half time. I watched the lads come in and I wondered if the 6-1 defeat here was going through their minds, even though it was 1-1. I told them that we had a chance of reaching the Fifth Round of the FA Cup and they had to believe in themselves.

“To be truthful, the second half was unbelievable; they were strong and proud. Oliver Norwood’s pass for the second goal was unreal and that goal will do Sean Scannell the world of good.”

Lillis and his partner Steve Eyre had to deal with lots of adversity tonight, with several stars missing from their line-up:

“We had Joel (Lynch) drop out three or four hours before kick-off; obviously Alex (Smithies) has suffered a family bereavement and we pass on our best wishes to him. We were looking around and trying to put a system out that wasn’t too wide open, but would have a go at Leicester. For me the pleasing thing was that the players have stuck together. 

“I said that the lads in the stand would get their chance and they took it really well tonight. Steve Eyre and I spoke about the team on Sunday and it was a matter of freshening things up. We rested Norwood, Vaughan and Hunt and we’ve made six changes in the end, which is a big statement. We had faith in our team though. We were brave in the selection and it paid off.”

Despite the news that Town have been granted permission to speak to Coventry boss Mark Robins about the vacant role at the Club, Mark explained that he will now begin preparations for Sunday’s FA Cup home clash against Wigan Athletic until told differently. 

“We’ve got a Sunday game now, so we’ll prepare for that. If a new manager comes in before that, he will be taking over a Club with a team in the FA Cup Fifth Round.”

If this does prove to be his last game in charge of the First Team, Academy Manager Lillis admitted he has enjoyed the challenge: 

“I’ve really enjoyed it! I’ve embraced the challenge. To hear the fans signing my name after 20 years brought some memories back and a bit of a tear to my eye. Some of those kids shouting my name won’t remember me – some of their Grandads won’t too! It’s good that they are going back up the M1 proud of Huddersfield Town.

“I live in the town and I want to be a winner. I didn’t want to walk around the town with four or five losses from my spell in charge, so I’ve done this for the town and the people that support Huddersfield Town. That is what has spurred me on when the Chairman asked me to step in. 

“I’m so proud to say I’ve managed Huddersfield Town. I’m going to put my team-sheets in a frame. I’ve got five so far, but you never know – it might be six.”

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