Huddersfield Town's Rhodes and Novak will return refreshed: McDermott
Feb 13 2010 by Dougie Thomson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
TERRY McDERMOTT is backing strike pair Jordan Rhodes and Lee Novak to fire Town further towards their promotion target.
Both 17-goal top scorer Rhodes and Novak, who has netted eight times, missed out on places in the starting line-up at Brighton on Tuesday.
Hugely experienced assistant manager McDermott wouldn’t say whether they will be back on the bench at home to Swindon today.
But he did explain the reasons behind the team selection at Withdean, where Robbie Simpson came in for Rhodes and Nathan Eccleston retained his starting berth ahead of Novak.
“Lee has come a long way in a short time,” said former Newcastle stalwart McDermott of the 21-year-old Geordie who joined Town from Gateshead in the close-season.
“People tend to forget he was at Gateshead for less than a full season, and that he is still adapting to the demands of full-time football.
“He’s a great lad who works his socks off day in, day out, and that can take its toll, mentally as well as physically.
“We felt we needed to give him a break, and likewise for Jordan, who don’t forget has only just turned 20.
“Like Lee, he’s a smashing lad whose attitude and appetite for work are first class. He’s scored a lot of goals, but he’s hit a bit of a lull, and he will also have benefited from stepping back.
“It could be for just one game, it could be for longer, but one thing’s for sure – they will both return and get back among the goals.”
Town go into today’s game on the back of a six-match unbeaten run in the league and having kept three clean sheets in four, and McDermott added: “We’re aiming to start turning draws into wins.
“Earlier in the season we were on a great run, playing great football and scoring lots of goals, but it’s never like that all season.
“Some of the pitches we’ve been playing on have had an effect, and a few of the players have lost a little bit of confidence, and it’s fair to say we haven’t been playing as well as we know we can do.
“But we will return to form, because we’ve got too many good footballers not to.
“I still believe we can win automatic promotion, because the sides around us in the table, like Swindon, have still to come to our place.
“No games are easy, but we are a capable team, and if we can take points off the other top teams and maintain our solid away form they we’ll soon climb the table.”