HE doesn’t know who will be at the helm, but Jon Worthington is determined to make Town’s centenary campaign one to remember - for all the right reasons.
It’s been a highly eventful week at the Galpharm with the departure of manager Andy Ritchie and his assistant John Dungworth in the wake of Saturday’s 4-1 derby drubbing at Oldham.
The major developments followed a hugely disappointing season for Ritchie, right-hand man Dungworth, captain Worthington (he has now surrendered the armband to Robert Page) and his team, all of whom had hoped making the League I play-offs would have been a worst-case scenario.
The 24-year-old emerged grim-faced from Boundary Park seven days ago to accept any lingering hopes of reaching the top six had been well and truly kicked into touch by Ritchie’s best mate John Sheridan’s side.
He insisted there was still plenty to play for between today’s home derby with Doncaster and the final match at Luton in four weeks.
But given the fact that the new manager could be watching one – or all – of the remaining matches, Worthington now knows there is now far more than pride at stake.
Every player, not just those coming out of contract, are playing for their futures at Town.
And first priority is to ensure there is no repeat of the sub-standard performance in Ritchie’s last match at the helm, when the former boss’s old club (both as a player and manager) became the fifth to put four goals past Town this season (following Grimsby in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and Walsall, Southend and Leeds in League I).
And while what is temporarily Gerry Murphy’s team are marooned in mid-table, they will still have an important say in promotion and relegation given the position of their last six opponents – Doncaster (third before today’s games), Port Vale (bottom), Leeds (seventh), Tranmere (sixth), Walsall (10th) and Luton (second-bottom).
Worthington wants 14th-placed Town to finish as high up the final table as possible and create a little bit of the old feel-good factor as the countdown to the club’s 100th birthday continues and the race to become the new manager hots up.
“We hear the rumours like everyone else, but at this stage, we’ve no idea who will be taking over, and all we can do is give 100% under Gerry Murphy,” he said.
“This season has certainly fallen flat and the Oldham match summed it up, because after good wins over Brighton and Bristol Rovers, we never came out of the blocks.
“The way we played simply wasn’t acceptable and our inconsistency cost Andy Ritchie his job.”
Town tumbled to two goals from on-loan Preston player Jason Jarrett and strikes from Leon Constantine (borrowed from Leeds) and Chris Taylor before defender David Mirfin, who came off the bench and played as a stand-in striker claimed a late consolation.
“Oldham went one up (Constantine) and played Jarrett in the hole and caused us problems all across the line,” added Worthington.
“It was especially disappointing that our errors played a large part in their goals, and when you make mistakes, you get punished.
“We weren’t good enough and we’ve under-achieved all season. It’s important that between now and the last match, we show what we can do and as individuals and as a team do ourselves justice.”
From a personal viewpoint, Worthington is desperate to close an injury-riddled campaign which he describes as a “nightmare” on a positive note with six bright performances.
Last Saturday’s appearance, when he was brought off after 63 minutes, was only his 22nd because of a string of injuries, the most problematic of which necessitated a groin operation by top German specialist Dr Ulrike Muschaweek.
“It’s very difficult to come back so late in the season and have the fitness level you’d like, but the positive thing is my groins feel fine.
“Hopefully I can get to the end of this season, have a short break just to recharge then get a good pre-season under my belt ahead of a very important campaign.
“It’s going to be a big season for Huddersfield Town and for me personally, a massive one.
“I’ll be 25 later this month, and given my age, I should be producing my best football over the next couple of seasons.
“I want to do exactly that and help this club get up to the next level.”