LEE PELTIER believes Huddersfield Town will prosper in the Championship – despite helping derby rivals Leeds condemn his old side to a third defeat in four games.
The popular full-back and now Leeds skipper, who was given an ovation before kick-off by home fans at the John Smith’s, believes a solid finish is probable for Simon Grayson’s 1th-placed side.
He said: “The main thing would be to stay up seeing they’re new to the league. The start they’ve had shows they’re more than capable of doing that.
“Hopefully they can kick-on. They’ve got a good manager and I don’t see any reason why Town can’t be successful at this level.”
Peltier, who was at Town for two seasons from 2009-11, said of the ovation: “I was absolutely delighted. I had some great times here and I’ll never forget what the club has done for me.”
He added of Town’s promotion to the Championship in May: “It had been a long time coming, so it was great to see them do it.”
The Scouser, who counts Town loan striker James Vaughan among his best friends in football, had a reunion with former teammates after the match.
Lee Novak and Calum Woods were among those who enjoyed banter with Peltier, who played 103 times for Town between joining from Yeovil and leaving for Leicester.
Peltier joked Vaughan, who lives close to him and made his first appearance in eight games after injury, had been round to his house several times recently winding him up about the derby.
However he had sympathy for former colleague Alex Smithies, whose mistake helped propel Leeds to victory in front of a bumper 20,372 crowd.
It was a first win for the Whites in Huddersfield for nearly 50 years and came on ex-Town boss and now Leeds manager Neil Warnock’s 64th birthday.
Peltier added: “Everybody makes mistakes. Alex might have taken his eye off the ball for a second and it went underneath him.
“But I know he’s a great keeper. I’m sure he won’t let a mistake like that worry him too much and will move on quickly.”
He also believes Leeds, 11th in the Championship after their third straight win, can mount a promotion push, claiming: “We can go as far as we want to.
“We played on Saturday with the same grit and determination as in our last two games and hopefully we will maintain the momentum.
“The gaffer has quickly got a good squad together, though we’re perhaps a bit light on numbers.
“But there’s nobody in this league who’d worry us on our day. And we’ve just beaten three top sides in Crystal Palace, Leicester and now Town, so we’re buzzing.”
While Town host Bolton this Saturday, Leeds got to Derby. Leaders Cardiff visit Blackburn on Friday.