Red card was harsh on Croft – Clark

Huddersfield boss and former Norwich assistant manager Lee Clark has publicly backed ex-Canary Lee Croft after his sending off in the Terriers' impressive League One 3-0 win at Colchester.

Croft was dismissed for a mistimed lunge in only his third league appearance for Clark's side since agreeing a six-month summer loan move from Championship outfit Derby.

'It was harsh, but that's the way it is now,' said Clark. 'Cards are given out so easily, but unfortunately that's the law. Lee mistimed two tackles and I've no complaints over his red card.

'It's another continuation of his stop-start time here so far. Lee has done a lot of work over the last couple of weeks to get rid of a little excess weight I think he has been carrying. He has done that brilliantly and I think he showed signs of what a direct winger he is.

'He's a little bit different to the other wingers we have here. This means he will miss another game, which unfortunately for him it means he'll spend a little more time with Blackie (performance coach Steve Black).'

Clark was delighted with his side's emphatic victory to keep in touch with the early pace setters.

'When a man like John Ward says you are the best side they have played this season it means a lot, because I know him and highly respect him,' said Clark. 'I have a group of players that I love working with and I think they showed here that they feel the same way. We want to try and make the owner, the directors and the supporters proud. Even though we have lost our previous three away games I knew we were doing the right things and I hadn't lost belief in the players; we were doing things well on the ball, but we just needed to improve a little without it.

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'Here we did that and that win has put us five points behind the leaders, but we know we have to start being more consistent.

'At this stage last season there was a bigger gap than five points between first and sixth, that's for sure.'