In three weeks one man has given his heart and soul to Huddersfield Town and for that I am eternally grateful to Mark Lillis. I am far too young to remember Lillis as a player, but I remember him being a firm favourite with my late Father and his passion for this club is something that all fans yearn for in a manager.
Of course Lillis will be returning to his academy duties once Mark Robins has dotted the I’s on a contract to become Town’s new boss, but he has left the former Barnsley and Rotherham boss with a squad that has a new found confidence after some decent results.
Last night we witnessed one as we finally overcame a Leicester side that had outclassed us twice in the league this season. It really wasn’t a game that people will remember in a few months as both sides fielded squad players with the league being the obvious priority. However, it was a result that show even with the several injuries we currently have, the squad can adequately compete.
There’s no need for me to go into detail about the game except to say there was no real atmosphere, it was rather mundane, but we managed to capitalise on Leicester’s mistakes. Kasper Schmiechel decided to guess what way Adam Clayton would send his free-kick and got it wrong, a wonderful strike and performance from the former Man City youngster. Paul Konchesky then was outmuscled by the impressive Sean Scannell to gift Town the second and the win, this all came from a terrific Ollie Norwood ball.
It was another astute performance by Town under Mark Lillis and Steve Eyre. They will leave Robins with some key components in trying to avoid relegation and build a side that can make itself a steady Championship side for the future.
Under the guidance of Lillis and Eyre we have also learned some valuable information about our squad. Firstly, Sean Scannell looks fantastic when he plays off or just behind a striker with his pace, direct running and ball control. I have criticised Scannell when he played on the wing and after his recent performances it’s proved he’s not a winger. He is also a very talented player and as Lillis says last night, a player that needs a bit of love.
Oliver Norwood is another player that has benefitted under the Lillis reign as focus on playing decent football returned, his pass last night was sublime and it shows that his loss of form was more down to the type of football we were playing at the end of Grayson’s reign.
Finally Jordan Sinnott looks a real prospect, in both FA Cup ties I have been impressed with his all round game and how well he has fitted into the side. He certainly looks like he could be a very good player in the future and has benefitted from Lillis and Eyre’s guidance, as well as a loan spell with his Dad at Altrincham.
One thing that is for certain, when Lillis and Eyre go back to their Development squad and academy we know that the talent that we have going through is under great leadership and man management. Also they are learning to play football in the right way and will be on that “pathway” that we have all heard about.
Tomorrow we should see a new manager, but thank you Mark Lillis for restoring pride in Huddersfield Town. A lot of people would love him to continue as manager and I am one of those who would prefer a manager who loves the club, like Peter Jackson did. However, I believe Robins is an astute appointment given his track record.
I only hope on Sunday afternoon the fans can give Lillis a reception that he deserves.