Huddersfield Town’s visit to Preston North End on Wednesday kicks off a run of games against the top three in the Championship table for the 18th-placed Lancashire side.

After tackling David Wagner’s third-placed team, former Town manager Simon Grayson’s men head to leaders Norwich City on Saturday.

Then comes a League Cup fourth-round meeting with Newcastle United at St James’ Park next Tuesday.

It’s a tough spell for the Lilywhites, skippered by former Town player Tom Clarke but Danish striker Simon Makienok insists it’s not too much of a tall order for Grayson’s side.

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The 6ft 7in on-loan Palermo player provided North End with a big boost by coming off the bench to claim a late leveller at fourth-placed Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, making it five matches unbeaten in all competitions.

“We are on a good run and have played some difficult teams,” said Makienok. “After going into the international break with confidence we showed we haven’t lost it.

“Drawing on Saturday was a whole different feeling to losing 2-1 and a point away against a good side like Brighton is a plus.

“We know we have some quite difficult games coming up but the Championship is so competitive that you’re not really thinking about who’s next because they’re all good sides.

“It’s about being on the front foot from the first minute. If you manage to do that, then anything can happen.”

Makienok, 25, had previously scored a hat trick in the 3-2 League Cup third-round win at Premier League Bournemouth.

His arrival from Sicily has been a boost because Preston have been without both former Town loan striker Jermaine Beckford (hamstring) and Scottish frontman Stevie May (knee).

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They also sold Joe Garner, another former Town loan forward, to Glasgow Rangers for £1.8m.

Grayson, who returned to the John Smith’s Stadium to watch Town’s 1-0 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, has handed an opportunity to Jordan Hugill.

And the 24-year-old former Port Vale player has responded by firing in five goals - scoring the opener against Brighton, when he started alongside former Aston Villa player Callum Robinson in a 3-5-2 formation.

Town academy product Clarke, now 28, played as the right-sides centre-back alongside Paul Huntington and Alex Baptiste against Brighton.

Baptiste, 30, played for Mansfield Town against Town in the 2004 Third Division (League Two) play-off final at Cardiff.