The former Town striker – who is now Public Relations Director of Skybet, the Football League sponsors – says the departure of Mark Robins from the John Smith’s Stadium caught everyone by surprise but that Lillis will do a great job in the interim.
Tempest believes Town will move as quickly as possible to appoint a permanent replacement for Robins, simply because of the volume of games to be played in the first few weeks of the season, but as Skybet installed Coventry boss Steven Pressley and former Nottingham Forest chief Billy Davies as joint 2/1 favourites to take the job, he says the club are in safe hands with Lillis, Steve Thompson and Steve Eyre.
“It was a huge surprise to hear Mark Robins had parted company with the club,” said Tempest, who had two seasons at the head of Town’s attack in the 1980s.
“Supporters first of all wonder why it has happened and, secondly, they immediately think about who they would want to take over their side with games coming up thick and fast.
“Mark Lillis will do a great job in the interim, as he always has when he has stepped in as caretaker, and the team certainly won’t be lacking in spirit when they go to Chesterfield.
“Mark is the sort who will pin someone up against the wall in the dressing room if they don’t give him what he wants and, sometimes, that’s exactly what people need.”
Tempest says the betting market is unusual in that it has been drawn up from a completely blank canvas. Pressley and Davies are the ones to have attracted money so far.
“Pressley, Davies and Neil Lennon are at the top of our betting with Neil Warnock not far behind,” he explained.
“People with Town connections do figure, like Dean Gorre, Steve Eyre, Steve Thompson, Andy Booth, Simon Grayson and the like, along with other managers who are out of a job, and people do like to take a punt in the early stages.
“Normally, though, the market gets a steer because of a club’s run of form, rumours about the manager possibly leaving and even suggestions of clubs talking to other people – but that is not the case here at all.
“The one thing we can say for sure is that Huddersfield Town have not been planning on looking for a new manager over the last few weeks, so this is absolutely fresh ground we are on.
“My personal feeling is that things could develop on a replacement for Mark Robins quite quickly.
“Initial moves in the market will be prompted by people having a guess and taking a punt, and then you tend to get a lull before a lot of activity all of a sudden.
“The market tends to explode when you get rumours of clubs talking to X, Y or Z and their agents. The agents will quite often say their client is interested – and that also pushes things along from a betting point of view.”
Tempest is listed himself as a 250-1 shot.
“I’m going to have a word with our odds compilers. I should be 10,000/1 not 250/1,” he joked.