BUOYANT Huddersfield Town are sitting proudly in the top six with a third of the season gone and skipper Peter Clarke insists: “We’ve got massive belief.”
Jermaine Beckford returned from injury to grab the third goal of his loan and secure a 1-0 derby victory over Barnsley at Oakwell which pushed Town into the Championship play-off places ahead of the home clash with Brighton on Saturday.
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It marked an ideal debut for latest loan arrival Simon Church, who made the goal, and rewarded almost 4,000 travelling fans with an eighth win of the campaign to sneak a little gap on the teams from ninth place downwards in the standings.
“It’s absolutely brilliant to be in the top six a third of the way through the season and we’ve got massive belief in the group that we can do good things,” said Clarke, delighted with a fifth clean sheet of the campaign.
“You have to back up that belief with performances on the pitch, of course, and more often than not we have done that up to now.
“It was a real team effort both going forward and defensively, we all know our jobs and, when we do them like we did in this match, we look a good side.
“We felt in control, it was important we maintained our concentration and we limited Barnsley to very, very little.”
Clarke paid tribute to the Town fans in a crowd of 12,130 and to debutant Church, whose loan from Premiership Reading was confirmed only 48 hours before Town’s first league win at Oakwell since back in February 2003.
“The fans gave us unbelievable backing, fantastic,” said the skipper.
“Any neutral would have thought they were the home fans because of the noise they were making, we are very lucky to have them behind us and it’s great to give them something to shout about.”
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On Church he added: “He’d had only two relatively short sessions with us because of the games we’ve had but he fitted in really well and is a very nice young man.
“I thought his workrate was terrific, he put himself about and he showed his quality with the delivery for the goal.”