LEE CLARK has a training schedule this week designed to ensure Huddersfield Town lose none of their competitive bite come Boxing Day.
Following the thrill-a-minute 4-4 derby draw at Sheffield Wednesday, Town don’t return to action until next Monday, when League I basement side Chesterfield visit the Galpharm Stadium.
Clark is mindful of keeping the build-up positive and balanced as Town bid to close the gap on top two Charlton and Wednesday with an 11th win of the campaign.
He has to find a central defensive replacement for skipper Peter Clarke, who misses the match through suspension having collected his fifth booking of the season at Hillsborough.
But the manager has only keeper Alex Smithies (knee) and midfielder Damien Johnson (hamstring) missing from the training ground and he believes the squad are already in the mood to tackle their busiest spell of the year – four matches in 12 days.
“We’ve got everything set up for this week because once you get past Boxing Day there isn’t too much done on the training ground because of all the matches,” said Clark.
“Those who have been involved are doing pool sessions and recuperation, while the others train as normal to make sure they are ready to step in when necessary.
“Then you’ve got the classroom work to fit in for everybody, looking at the DVDs of our opposition and such like.”
Charlton and Wednesday are away to Yeovil and Walsall respectively on Boxing Day while third-placed Sheffield United are not in action until a week today at home to Notts County.
On skipper Clarke, who collected one of four yellow cards in Saturday’s derby, the manager added: “It’s always a blow when you lose a player through suspension and Peter is no exception to that.
“The good thing from my point of view is that none of the bookings on Saturday was for dissent or anything like that.
“We picked them up because we were being competitive and that’s something we are not going to take away from them.
“I wouldn’t want it, and I’m pretty sure the fans wouldn’t want to see any of our players pulling out of challenges, but it’s frustrating at times because you can get booked for anything these days.”