LEE CLARK says Jamie McCombe still has a part to play in Huddersfield Town’s promotion push.
The tall centre-back is currently on loan at League I rivals Preston.
And while fourth-placed Town prepare for Saturday’s big Yorkshire derby at second-placed Sheffield Wednesday, with on-loan Leeds defender Alex Bruce set for a second appearance, McCombe is eyeing a fifth Preston outing in their teatime clash at MK Dons.
With MK having leapfrogged Town to go third last Saturday, the 6ft 5in former Bristol City man can help do his parent club a favour.
And Clark is delighted at the way the 28-year-old’s Deepdale stay, which runs until January 2, is working out.
“Jamie is the kind of player who needs a run of games to find his rhythm,” explained Clark, who had picked McCombe regularly until his sending off in the 2-2 home draw with Leyton Orient on September 24 led to a three-game ban.
“He found it hard to get back in after his suspension, and the chance of a loan at Preston was beneficial to every party involved.
“They have the services of an experienced and very able player and when we get him back next month, he’s had a run of games and is ready to challenge for a place.”
Ex-Scunthorpe and Lincoln man McCombe, who has played 57 times for Town, could end up making eight appearances for Preston, with the MK clash being followed by a Boxing Day visit of North-East rivals Carlisle, a home clash with Sheffield Wednesday on New Year’s Eve and a trip to Rochdale on Monday January 2.
Meanwhile Tom Clarke, back from his loan stint at Leyton Orient, was on target as Town beat Leeds 2-1 in a development match at Thorp Arch yesterday.
Alan Lee, who completes a three-match ban when Town take on Wednesday, got the other goal after the hosts took an early lead.
Danny Cadamarteri, Oscar Gobern, Antony Kay, Donal McDermott, Gary Roberts and Lee Novak were also involved in what coach Steve Watson called a “deserved victory”.
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