This weeks visitor is Lee Clark, in his first managerial job since he joined the Terriers last December. He's still only 36, played at Newcastle for most of his career before he moved to then second division Sunderland in 1997. And, yes of course, you've recognised the year because he played in the side that reached the play-off final in May 1998 and we all know what happened next.
Condemned to play another year in the second it seems he wasn't a happy bunny because, despite being promoted to the Premiership in 1999 with a (then) league record of 105 points, he was spotted with some old mates among the Newcastle fans at the 1999 FA Cup Final shortly afterwards, wearing a t-shirt with the slogan "Sad Mackem Bastards". He was immediately dropped from the team, and never played for Sunderland again, moving to Fulham the same year.
His team Huddersfield are currently 8th, seven points behind the Addicks with only 1 win ( and 4 defeats) from their 6 away games. On opening day they drew with 2-2 at Southend coming back from 2 goals down, then after 3 home wins in a row (including the 7-1 over Brighton) they suffered their first defeat 1-0 at Bristol to an 84th minute goal. They then lost to Newcastle 4-3 in the League Cup after going 3-1 in front before winning 3-2 at MK Dons this time after being 2-1 down. They then lost 3-1 at Millwall but kept going and scored a consolation goal 5 minutes from time.
I can't find the name for it but there's definitely a Clarke fixation at the Galpharm Healthcare Stadium (!). Apart from the manager there's another three of them, two in the middle of the defence. Captain is number 5 Peter Clarke, ex of Premiership Everton and its rumoured, was offered a deal by the Addicks during the summer but turned us down to move to Huddersfield, and the name for that is idiotic. Alongside him there's number 6 Terrier stalwart Nathan Clarke, at the Town for eight years. Then there's his brother Tom, sadly for Clarke fans, out of the team.
Number 10 Robbie Simpson is a new boy bought in the summer from Coventry for a rumoured 300K. He joined Coventry in 2007, bought by Iain Dowie from Cambridge for a song and was proclaimed "a future star" by Dowie - where have we heard that before, and, of course, he's failed to score, so far, for the Terriers.
Seems that Clark likes the rotation idea with two strikers Simpson and Robinson playing away at Colchester in a backs to the wall formation but with Rhodes and Novak being preferred at home last weekend against Exeter. Nineteen year old Jordan Rhodes certainly enjoyed his break scoring three headed goals in 8 minutes against Exeter in the 4-0 win and he heads their scoring table with 8 League goals and eleven in total while they have in reserve another youngster the number nine, twenty year old , Theo Robinson on 5.
What They Saying?
First there's a lone voice from the town supporting his manager while others are calling for his head. Oh and he doesn't appear to see the weekends game as "winnable".
Its been 9 eventful years since we played Huddersfield in the same Division back in our Championship winning year 1999/2000 when in our usual Curbishley fashion we were limping towards the title - they won that game in April 1-0. And along with Norwich, Huddersfield are the team we've played the most, 35 seasons worth including our most memorial win the 7-6 in December '57.
Overall in the League its 31-25 to the Addicks with 14 draws with an impressive 21-9 with 5 draws at the Valley.
There's a number of tricky selection decisions to be made by Parky this weekend and at the back of his mind is the worrying statistic that he hasn't scored for three games, League that is. In defence he has to decide between the returning bravery of Sammy Sodje and the scoring threat of Miguel LLera. Against a team that are likely to have learnt from Oldham's example, if they needed any encouragement after their display at Colchester, and will come to defend, perhaps we should look towards scoring goals rather than defending.
Then there's the reported return from injury of Jose Semedo. He was instrumental in our first 6 wins and will surely replace the hard-working Spring.
Then there's the question mark being constantly raised over Jonjo? Should he be rested or given another go to impress while in front of him Burton has failed to add to his total over the last three games, as has McLeod, so is it time to try the different approach of our now fit number nine Leon McKenzie?