LEE CLARK has no fears of Town suffering stage fright as they bid for promotion in Sunday’s League I play-off final clash with Peterborough at Old Trafford.
The boss believes the FA Cup fourth-round visit to Arsenal in January proved his players can handle the big occasion.
Town put up a gutsy display as Arsene Wenger’s Premier League side were forced to fight all the way for a 2-1 win in front of 59,375 at the Emirates Stadium.
Now Clark wants his side to reproduce that level of performance, and this time claim victory, in front of more than 30,000 Town fans and a likely 45,000-plus crowd.
“From a personal point of view, I loved the Emirates,” said Clark. “I felt really comfortable in those surroundings, and I think Old Trafford will be even better!”
The cup clash was the last time Town tasted defeat, but Clark, whose team aim to stretch their unbeaten league run to 28 games, believes it was a positive experience.
“It was a great occasion and we put in a terrific performance. When you play any side, never mind a top one, away from home you expect to be under the cosh.
“But for long periods, we were the dominant team and we didn’t deserve to lose.
“The supporters saw that and really got behind us, the players responded to them and the club was galvanised by the whole occasion.
“It felt very natural for us as a football club and we certainly want to have those kind of occasions on a more regular basis, so we’re looking forward to Sunday.”
Meanwhile on-loan star Kevin Kilbane, a key man in Town’s run to the play-offs, believes it’s unlikely he will remain at the KC Stadium club, even though he is under contract for another season.
Kilbane, who has said he would like to remain at Town, said: “Nigel Pearson (the Hull boss) is obviously planning for the future by bringing in players and I think it will be difficult for him to have me back now.”