LEE CLARK is backing the squad he assembled at Huddersfield Town to win promotion this season and just wishes he was still in charge to finish the job.
The 39-year-old Geordie fiercely disputes chairman Dean Hoyle’s opinion that he wouldn’t have guided Town into the Championship, either automatically or through the play-offs.
And he says he’ll celebrate as wildly as the most ardent Town fanatic WHEN they go up on either May 5 after Yeovil or May 26 at Wembley. Interviewed by Richard Keys on talkSPORT, Clark said: “I received a call from the owner the morning after the game against Sheffield United and it was just to the point, really.
“He said he didn’t believe I could deliver promotion and has subsequently been in the media to say that, which is something I dispute – and my view has been backed up by the new management team since they’ve been there.”
Asked about the record of only three defeats in 55, Clark added: “I think it’s been thrown back there have been a lot of draws in there, which could be possibly right, but if you can’t win a game, make sure you don’t lose it.
“We always went out to win every football match, the players will say that. We created numerous chances and, certainly, on the evening before I got the sack, if you read Danny Wilson’s quotes we played fantastically well and had our usual (at home) 23 or 24 attempts at goal and it just wasn’t to be that evening.
Clark – who wants to get back into the game as quickly as possible – said he had texted the chairman to say he had made a good appointment in Simon Grayson and he hoped they got promotion.
Other than that, there had been no contact and he hoped Town would resolve remaining issues over the departure as quickly as possible for him, assistant Terry McDermott, coach Paul Stephenson and development coach Steve Watson.
I would like it sorted out in the right and proper manner,” said Clark, who guided Town to two successive play-off campaigns and a Football League record of 43 matches without defeat.
“I worked extremely hard for the football club and moved it forward huge strides. We always talked about our relationship, myself and the owner, and it’s not just me (involved), there are three other great lads in Terry, Paul and Steve and their families to consider here.
“Huddersfield have moved on with a new management team and I just want things done in the right and proper way and let us move on in our careers.”
What did the owner say about the chase for promotion?
“He became worried we couldn’t deliver getting back in the top two, but if you see the results Charlton have drawn their last two so it’s still very ‘do-able’ and there’s a big Sheffield derby this weekend, so points will be dropped there,” answered Clark.
“He has said maybe we couldn’t handle the pressure if it came to a play-off final. We lost the last one, but that was very close until they (Peterborough) got their first goal, and we’ve handled huge games over the course of my period there, so I’ve got to disagree with that – and this has been backed up by what has been said by Simon Grayson and his staff.