ALAN LEE will be asked to carry on taking the hits when Huddersfield Town head to promotion rivals Brentford tomorrow.
The former Crystal Palace frontman returns to London ready to make a fifth successive League I start as Lee Clark’s men aim to sting the Bees.
They will go above their seventh-placed hosts with victory and the manager reckons resurgent Lee can play a key role in the points quest.
The 33-year-old Republic of Ireland international is fast becoming a fans’ favourite after taking time to settle following his August 2010 switch.
And Clark said: “We’re delighted with the contribution Alan’s making – both on and off the pitch.
“He’s an experienced player who has the respect of the rest of the group, and even when things weren’t going for him last season, he was always positive and supportive of the lads.
“This time he’s come in and made his mark with three goals and some excellent frontline performances, and it’s been great to see happen.
“Alan is always ready to take the whacks and provide the physical presence which enables other players to flourish, and they appreciate that.
“He’s also a threat in the air, and when those goals start to go in, confidence rises.”
Town head South this morning – they will finalise their preparations at QPR’s training ground near Heathrow – with Clark clear over his team selection and tactics as centre-back Jamie McCombe starts a three-match ban after his red card in last Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Leyton Orient.
Captain Peter Clarke, who scored the late winner to seal last season’s 1-0 win at Griffin Park, and on-loan Hull man Liam Cooper are both pushing for a central defensive slot.
“I’ve made my decision and told the players,” added Clark.
“We’ve been working hard to ensure we’re ready to deal with the threat Brentford pose.”
Home boss Uwe Rosler, who also has a centre-back, Spaniard Miguel Angel Llera, suspended, has called on his side to bolster a home record of one point from the last three games.
They won their fourth game on the road when Oldham were beaten 2-0 last Saturday.