Former Norwich City assistant Lee Clark sacked as Huddersfield manager
Former Norwich City assistant manager Lee Clark says he is perplexed over his dismissal as boss of Huddersfield Town yesterday.
Clark had been at the club, fourth in League One, just over three years but he and his coaching staff were sacked the day after a home defeat by Sheffield United – their first reverse in 10 league games.
'I am very perplexed as to why I was dismissed as the manager of Huddersfield Town,' said Clark, in a statement released through the League Managers' Association.
'Needless to say I am extremely disappointed and shocked considering that, with just 16 games left, we are in a such great position to compete for automatic promotion.
'We built on last season's momentum following the play-off final by creating history in the Football League record books for consecutive unbeaten games. This was an immense achievement by everybody connected with the club.
'I am massively proud of my record with Huddersfield and I enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the players, coaching staff, supporters and indeed everybody at the club. I now wish them all the very best for the future and hope they will ultimately achieve promotion this season.'
Academy manager Mark Lillis has been installed as caretaker manager and will take charge of the club against Exeter on Saturday.
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Club chairman Dean Hoyle said in a statement: 'We still have an opportunity to achieve promotion and we have made this change with this in mind,
'This was a very difficult decision; one not taken lightly or in response to one result. Concerns have been raised over recent weeks.
'Lee and his coaching staff have put their all into the job over the past three seasons and he has made a huge contribution to the club.
'However with 16 matches to go we still have an opportunity to achieve promotion and we have made this change with this in mind.
'Huddersfield Town would like to place on record it's thanks to Lee and his coaching staff and wish them all the best for the future.'
Clark was reportedly fired in a surprise two-minute phone call from Hoyle, who had not attended the loss to the Blades, and could now make a claim for unfair dismissal.
Clark, 39, left Newcastle United to join his former boss Gloenn Roeder at Carrow Road in November, 2007, but left 13 months later to become Huddersfield boss, replacing Stan Ternent at the Galpharm Stadium.
He led Huddersfield to the League One play-off final in May and steered them to a new club record of 43 league games unbeaten this season as they maintained their challenge for a top-two finish.
Clark's availability may alert Leeds United, who are without a manager since sacking Simon Grayson.
One of the other names mentioned with a move to Elland Road is Mick McCarthy, who lost his job at Wolves this week, although Leeds chairman Ken Bates has denied the club has approached the former Republic of Ireland boss.
McCarthy, 53, was sacked on Monday and was immediately installed as one of the favourites to succeed Simon Grayson as manager of Leeds.
One national newspaper claimed Leeds were ready to offer McCarthy a swift return to management, but Bates told Yorkshire Radio: 'The world and his wife has applied for this job because it's a good one.
'(Tuesday) a national newspaper said we had already approached McCarthy and offered him the job.
'I don't know where McCarthy lives or what his telephone number is. It's just speculation gone mad.'