LEE CLARK knows he’s got an uncomfortable decision to make this week, and it has nothing to do with Leicester City.
The Galpharm boss – said to be among leading candidates to manage the Championship club – has a key selection to make as Town bid to defeat Walsall on Saturday and equal the all-time Football League record of 42 matches unbeaten.
It’s not just about a replacement for suspended frontman Alan Lee, but also who should be on the bench and who will miss out altogether.
“The lads are all doing so well they are making life extremely difficult and putting the onus firmly on me,” said Clark, who reiterated there has been no contact from the Foxes.
“Players who have come into the team – like Liam Cooper who helped us get a vital win down at Yeovil with an excellent performance – have done well, and players who have gone on as substitutes have also made an impact.
“I don’t particularly enjoy having to tell lads they are on the bench and it’s even worse when you are telling people they aren’t even getting stripped, but the group understand and are very professional in their approach.”
Right-back Jack Hunt (hand) and skipper Peter Clarke (bruised toe) were the only casualties from Huish Park but both trained yesterday and are ready to face Dean Smith’s 20th-placed visitors. Striker Jordan Rhodes is expected to receive his first full Scotland call-up today for the friendly in Cyprus a week on Friday – he will miss the FA Cup trip to Swindon – and Clark says the Town squad are in buoyant mood.
“It’s fantastic, because the lads won a match which they shouldn’t have won,” said Clark, inset, whose only absentee is likely to be Oscar Gobern (ankle injury).
“The quality of performance was way off our usual standards, but we worked hard, battled away and eventually won the game.
“When you look back, you would be more than happy to take a point because the performance wasn’t the greatest, so it just goes to show what I’ve been saying for a while – we know how to win football matches in different ways, and that’s important if you are going to be successful.”
Of the possible League record, held by Nottingham Forest, Clark added: “It doesn’t even come into our thinking because we have a tough game to play and our sole focus has to be on preparing for that.
“Nothing else is in my mind other than trying to get three points and if we do that, then fantastic.”