Embarrassed Clark demands response

PUBLISHED: 09:33 05 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 10 September 2010

Former Norwich City assistant boss Lee Clark has warned his young Huddersfield team to 'grow up' if they want any say in the League One promotion race.

Former Norwich City assistant boss Lee Clark has warned his young Huddersfield team to 'grow up' if they want any say in the League One promotion race.

The Terriers were mauled 5-0 at Southampton in midweek and with games to come this month against both the Canaries - onSaturday week - and Charlton, Clark expects a positive response.

Huddersfield remain in the final play-off spot on goal difference from Millwall despite their St Mary's horror show ahead of this weekend's trip to Gillingham.

"I'm very sore after that, as well as very angry and embarrassed," said Clark. "I didn't want to put my name to that performance but I am the manager, I take full responsibility and have to take it on the chin. It was men against boys.

"It has to be a one-off and the manner in which they respond will tell me a lot about the players. I would have had another game the day after so we can bounce back, but unfortunately we have to wait for a couple of days until Gillingham. It will tell me a lot about the group of players I've got - whether they are young men or still little boys."

Clark admitted Southampton's demolition job was one of the worst nights of his embryonic managerial career since deciding to leave Glenn Roeder's Carrow Road backroom team in December 2008.

"I hope it never happens again," he said. "You can lose games in a certain way and manner, but that certainly wasn't the way. Too many of my players froze in a fantastic stadium at a big game and didn't perform in any way, shape or form. We were totally dominated in every aspect of the match.

"I hope the lads just didn't perform in this one game, because I believe they are good players who could perform at a higher level. It is a one-off in terms of how poor we were, but they were that good and they capitalised. It wasn't very pleasant sitting on the sidelines and trying to think of ways to try and stop what was going on - I tried to do that with substitutions, but it was nothing to do with the lads that came on. The flow of the game was all towards our goal."

Clark admitted there would be plenty of time for a post-mortem with the Terriers due to train in the south for the rest of the week ahead of tomorrow's trip to the Priestfield.

"I haven't got to worry about Gillingham," he said. "I have to worry about how my team will perform and respond. Of course we will respect Gillingham and be aware of what they can do in certain aspects of the game, but if my team produce a performance like they have done at Southampton it wouldn't matter - there would only be one outcome.

"Our stay down south still has to be constructive. We will work very hard to bounce back. We will certainly be watching this DVD, which will be a horror show. I knew that Southampton are a good side so they didn't surprise me - but some of the goals we conceded were absolutely amateurish at best."

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