Chance to manage on my own too good to miss - Clark
Paddy Davitt Huddersfield Town boss Lee Clark insisted yesterday he was right to bail out of Norwich's relegation dogfight last season.Clark cut his ties with City in December last year after 13 months as assistant manager to Glenn Roeder before striking out on his own in West Yorkshire.
Huddersfield Town boss Lee Clark insisted yesterday he was right to bail out of Norwich's relegation dogfight last season.
Clark cut his ties with City in December last year after 13 months as assistant manager to Glenn Roeder before striking out on his own in West Yorkshire.
The highly-rated rookie boss has now guided the Terriers into the League One play-off places just behind the Canaries on the eve of his first Carrow Road return.
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“It was a really, really tough decision for me to make because I enjoyed my time and made some great friends,” he said.
“Norwich offered me a fantastic opportunity and I was grateful to them but I wanted to be my own boss and Huddersfield gave me that chance. The chairman here is a fan through and through. He is so ambitious and I feel it is a place where I can achieve things.
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“When I came in I got experienced people around me to help but the job has been everything and more. The only difficult part is leaving lads out and having to sit them down and explain your decisions. But we have young, hungry, enthusiastic players who want to improve and have really taken on board my philosophy.”
The 37-year-old Clark predicts fireworks for another bumper Carrow Road crowd when the division's leading scorers collide.
“It all points to plenty of goals but you just don't know,” he said. “We certainly like to play attacking football and I think the same applies to Norwich, so it is all set up. I've spoken to the players and told them what to expect. We can't show any fear because we're going to a fantastic stadium with a fantastic support. I want my players to be inspired by that and embrace the pressure of playing at those places.
“I had a good relationship with the supporters and I felt for them, the players and everyone behind the scenes at Norwich when they were relegated. It was really tough to watch them get relegated. I really didn't want to see that because for me they should be a Championship club capable of pushing the other way. There's so much potential and I think Paul Lambert is doing a fantastic job.”
Clark topped up his inside knowledge of the Canaries with a recent scouting mission at close quarters.
“I saw them at Stockport and we've watched plenty of DvDs,” he said. “They have a lot of good players and we are under no illusions that we'll have to play very well to get anything. What I'm looking for is the same again as when we went to Leeds the other week. That was another big club, big stadium, big support and we acquitted ourselves well on the day to get a point. We'll be going down there with a positive gameplan because it's one I believe we can win.”
Clark is confident both clubs can still overhaul table-topping Leeds to clinch automatic promotion.
“The ideal scenario is we both go up - that is what I want,” he said. “There is a top six or seven who will all feel the same and we're not even half way yet so I think everything is possible. Obviously my priority is to get Huddersfield up but I would like to see Norwich go up as well because everything is geared to going higher.
“I came up against Paul Lambert last season when he was at Colchester. He was a very, very good player who played at the highest level and won the biggest trophies. He's got a good team there so we know it will be tough.”