RAFA BENITEZ has faced calls for his head because of using it at Liverpool.
Arsene Wenger has been accused of tarnishing the FA Cup after the policy contributed to Arsenal’s fifth-round no-contest at Manchester United.
And Avram Grant raised a few eyebrows with his contrasting selections for Chelsea’s games against Town and Olympiakos.
Now Andy Ritchie is ready to embrace what he calls the R-word.
The term was mentioned as he addressed the press in the wake of Tuesday’s 1-0 home win over Millwall.
Some observers took it to mean rest and/or recuperation, but Ritchie later confirmed rotation is on his mind as he looks ahead to a hectic, nine-match March.
After hosting League I leaders Swansea a week today, Town face Tuesday-Saturday showdowns for a month.
In a sense, they’ve become victims of their FA Cup success, because the trip to Swindon (now on Tuesday week) was originally due to take place on the day of the third round and the home clash with Brighton (now Tuesday, March 18) last Saturday, when Town were at Stamford Bridge in round five.
At least the Millwall match, originally set for the day Town won at Oldham in the fourth round, is now out of the way, with three points in the bag to boot.
Ritchie’s rotation can’t be on the scale of Grant’s, who fielded a completely different starting XI for Tuesday’s goalless Champions League draw in Greece to that on duty against Town.
It didn’t go down too well with Frank Lampard, the chief architect of the Londoners 3-1 cup win over Town, who said: “I don’t know how much rotation there will be in the future, but it’s important we get a settled team in the run-in.
“Any good side I’ve been involved in has had a pretty steady line-up, and it will be down to the manager to find that.”
Likely to be in a happier frame of mind than Lampard are Town trio Malvin Kamara, Danny Schofield and Andy Booth, who have all been on the bench, rather than in the XI, in recent weeks.
One player who won’t be affected by the R-word is centre-back Tom Clarke.
The 20-year-old should be getting regular Town games, but for Halifax not Huddersfield.
Clarke, whose sole first-team appearance since his knee reconstruction was in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Grimsby in September, signed up for a month at The Shay yesterday.
Ritchie, who has another young centre-back, Shane Killock, out on loan at Hyde United, explained: “Tom needs regular competitive football.
“He’s been playing in the reserves, but that’s not stretching him enough, and we’re hoping a spell in the Conference, where every game is meaningful, will put him back in the reckoning for a first-team berth here.”
Ritchie believes striker Lucas Akins has benefited from his stint in the Conference with Northwich Victoria, and will look to send some of his other youngsters out on loan as well.
Clarke was due to make his Halifax debut at home to Stafford Rangers today.