If you had told me ten days ago that we would have sacked Lee Clark and replaced him with Simon Grayson, I would say you were on drugs. But I suppose that what happens in the twists and turns of supporting Huddersfield Town.
Clark for whatever reason he was sacked, has gone. I supported him throughout his tenure, but I have to admit those fans calling for his head had a point and anyone who heard his interview with Richard Keys on TalkSPort can understand why he was sacked, especially when he comes out with the line “if you can’t win a game, don’t lose it”.
Anyway that era has passed and despite the rumblings that got myself and a few other Town fans excited about the possibility of Neil Warnock returning and according to the Daily Mail we were in for Warnock, it is Simon Grayson who will be the man to lead us to the championship.
Despite the Leeds connection, I think it is a fantastic appointment. He was in my top three choices to replace Clark alongside Warnock and Billy Davies and I believe Dean Hoyle has chosen the right man especially with Grayson’s experience in this division. Who can fault getting Blackpool and Leeds promoted from League One with little money.
In fact Grayson’s achievements with Leeds look even better when you realise that he lost players such as Jermaine Beckford, Max Gradel, Bradley Johnson, Fabian Delph (very over-rated if I say so myself), Kasper Schmeichel and most recently captain Jonny Howson during his time at the club. How on earth Grayson was expected to improve on Leeds’ 7th place finish in the championship when four of the players listed have now left and with no money to invest it shows what a tremendous job Grayson did.
“Who can fault (Grayson) getting Blackpool and Leeds promoted from League One with little money”
Added to that promotion with Blackpool with a side that had an on-loan Chris Brandon and Robbie Williams playing regularly then you can see he may be a miracle worker. He has twice overachieved and to live up to the expectation that Leeds fans have is amazing, especially when Ken Bates is the chairman.
So why has a self-confessed Leeds fan come to take the managerial position at Town? The answer simply is our fantastic chairman Dean Hoyle. Grayson spoke of Hoyle’s enthusiasm and who wouldn’t want to manage a club which has a chairman willing to pump in funds for transfers. Hoyle has already lost £7million during Lee Clark’s tenure (excluding the sales of Pilkington, Peltier and McDermott) and is willing to back Grayson to the hilt to ensure promotion.
However, I expect Grayson to be more reserved than Clark when it comes to his transfer dealings and let’s not forget Town are not totally out the automatic promotion race yet so who knows, his first full transfer could be for a team in the championship.
The first opportunity we will have of seeing Grayson’s transfer dealings is in the next week or so to see if he brings in any loan signings. The earliest we can expect to see any movement is tomorrow as any loan signing could then possibly play in the play-off final should we require that route once again. Personally, I believe he has a few positions to address including a right sided winger and possibly a pacey striker to play on the shoulder, something we have been missing all season.
Simon Grayson’s win ratio at Leeds: 49.7%
Lee Clark’s win ratio at Huddersfield: 48.4%
Grayson though speaks of a strong squad and I expect him to utilise what we already have and hopefully play a more attractive brand of football that goes out looking for victory, something that Town fans haven’t seen for two seasons.
Sixteen games isn’t a long time for a manager to try and achieve automatic promotion and I expect Grayson and his team will have to win at least ten or eleven of the remaining games to even stand a chance whilst also hoping that Sheffield United start to slip up. This weekend will provide a lot of answers as we will see how Grayson sets his stall out whilst it is the steel city derby over in Sheffield and all Town fans will be hoping Wednesday can do us a favour. However, Gary Megson’s side appear to be in free fall at the moment.
Only time will tell if Grayson can achieve promotion this season. But as a Town fan I am certainly more confident going into a play-off campaign with Grayson at the helm.