Academy Manager looks ahead to Saturday’s derby
- Mark Lillis previews Huddersfield Town vs Leeds United
- Academy Manager comments on David Wagner's arrival
- Lillis tells players to 'be a hero' in local derby
Huddersfield Town’s Academy Manager Mark Lillis will tell the players to have no regrets when he leads the First Team into Saturday’s West Yorkshire derby at home to Leeds United.
“Very good. From my point of view, he’s got good experience of with working with young players, spotting young players and putting them in the First Team, which fits into our philosophy.
“Our objective at the Club is to bring young players through. If he can help us do that and achieve our objectives, we’re onto a good thing.
“He’s come with some good pedigree so we’ll embrace him as a Club. What he will get here is support, because we’re all on one site. There’s no lack of communication at PPG Canalside – we’re looking forward to working with him.
“I think the Head Coach role is more hands-on, on the grass. You earn your corn with the players on the grass and you get a buzz off that.
“I hope he likes curries, because I’ll be taking him out for one!”
For now, the Town legend’s sole focus is on preparing the team for Saturday’s derby clash.
“I’ve spoken with the captain and the players this morning and we have to get on with it.
“My philosophy is never that I’m Caretaker Manager. I am the Manager of this football club on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you say that to the players, there’s no comeback to that. They know that I mean business; we’re in it together. That’s the way I manage this caretaker role.
“The main thing for me is today, tomorrow and Saturday at 12.30pm; that is my focus.
“My brief is to take the team and manage it as I feel right, the Huddersfield Town way, and hopefully that’s what I’ll do. You’ve got to embrace it and you’ve got to be strong enough to pick a team that’s going to be right to win that game.
“To manage the team is massive for me. The pride, the passion, all these words come into it. There’s not a lot of people that have done it and I have the opportunity to do that; that’s fantastic for me.
“But it’s not about me; it’s about the fans, players and about the Club.”
Lillis got off to a good start on Thursday by hosting a lively training session at PPG Canalside:
“They had Wednesday off, then I brought them in early today; they were due to come in a bit later. I felt they needed to get into the building, we needed to get the meetings out the way and get them back on the grass.
“I was proud of the standard they trained at and the fans would’ve been too.”
Mark had a particularly good record as a Town player against Leeds United and hopes that translates into the dugout on Saturday.
He continued: “I’ve been there myself; I know it what it is to play in the derby against Leeds. I know living in the town that Town fans will be up for it on Saturday; it’s a fantastic game to be a part of and I’m looking forward to it.”
With Joel Lynch suspended and several players, such as Sean Scannell and Jonathan Hogg, absent through injury recently, Lillis believes other players have to step forward and make a mark.
“We’ve got about six players who haven’t trained, who have got knocks. That’s an opportunity.
“I always say in football that you’ll get injuries and lack of form. I got my opportunity in 1980 against Reading when you could only have one sub; I got thrown on and never looked back.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity, especially as the new Head Coach is watching.
“Someone can be a hero. We’ve got to make sure everyone will be focused for the game, especially the starting eleven - but the subs are so important.
“As a young or a senior player, these are great games to play in. You’ve got to have no regrets at the end of it, whatever the result.”
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