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Huddersfield: What To Expect

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

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Blues fans may not be hugely familiar Everton's Carling Cup opponents Huddersfield Town.

The League One outfit visit Goodison on Wednesday night and although not packed with household names, thet are seen as a side going places.

The Terriers do count a couple of familiar faces in their line-up and their manager is developing a reputation as an up-and-coming talent. 

To find out more about them, we quizzed Doug Turner of the Huddersfield Examiner.


What was Huddersfield's reaction to drawing Everton?
Very pleased. They would obviously have preferred a home draw, but a trip to Goodison is a great prospect for both players and fans. We haven't been since 1998, and 1971 before that, and it's within easy travelling distance. Given the number of long trips in League One, that's a bonus.

What is the expectation of the team from this game?
They'll realise the size of the task but will clearly go with the aim of pulling off a shock. Town knocked Birmingham out of the FA Cup back in 2008, and while the team has changed greatly, it's well remembered by the fans and shows upsets can happen. Town also gave a good account of themselves at Newcastle in the Carling Cup last season, when they led before eventually going down 4-3, so that will provide some confidence.

How has the season gone so far?
It's been mixed. Town looked very convincing in winning 3-0 at Notts County on the opening day, less so in beating Carlisle 1-0 in Brunton Park in the first round of the Carling. The only home game so far, against Tranmere, finished goalless, Town being unable to break through some resolute defending. Then on Saturday, they led 2-0 at Peterborough before losing 4-2. It was strange that they had kept three clean sheets up to then! It's a new-look side, with Lee Clark bringing in nine new signings so far, so the gelling process is ongoing.

Which players should we look out for?
There's no doubt Town have some talented operators. Scott Arfield, signed from Falkirk, has impressed in a number of different positions, central midfield being his preferred option. Icelander Joey Gudjonsson has also been impressive in midfield. Gary Roberts and Anthony Pilkington provide threat from out wide while at the back, Liverpudlian full-back Lee Peltier and young goalkeeper goalkeeper Alex Smithies are highly rated. Up front, Lee Novak, signed from Gateshead and impressive in his first senior campaign last season, is a non-stop worker and a real fans' favourite.

How highly do you rate Jordan Rhodes?
Very. Ipswich fans were up in arms when Roy Keane accepted Town's offer and you can see why. He netted 23 goals last season and already has three this time around. He's level-headed and keen to learn and at 20, should get better still.

Huddersfield Town dangerman Jordan Rhodes

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Lee Clark has a reputation for playing attractive football, is this about right?
Certainly. Town rarely resort to route one and with more than 100 goals in all competitions last season, provide plenty of penalty-area interest.

Is he a manager who could go on to manage at the top level?
We're all hoping he'll do that at Huddersfield! He's certainly spent a long time preparing to be a manager, having started coaching as a young player and served his managerial apprenticeship at Newcastle and Norwich, where he was assistant to Glenn Roeder. He's very much his own man, but has assembled a very experienced backroom staff, so can call on advice from a number of sources. Clark has already been linked with Burnley and Fulham, but will want to succeed with Huddersfield before moving up.

How has Gary Naysmith settled in?
He was ruled out of Saturday's game at Peterborough after a red card against Tranmere, but will be available against Everton, and that will be welcomed by fans, who have seen his experience and positional sense. Could his absence have had anything to do with that four-goal concession at Peterborough? Time will tell!

How important is Peter Clarke to the defence and the side in general?
Very important. Pete was Town's Player of the Season last time around and has begun well this time. As well as being a solid, experienced defender, he's the skipper and someone the younger players look up to.

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