Capital One Cup: Huddersfield caretaker delighted in character shown by his team
Last Updated: 14/08/14 9:07am
Huddersfield caretaker manager Mark Lillis saluted the character of his players after they staged a dramatic comeback to beat Chesterfield 5-3 in a pulsating Capital One Cup first-round tie at the Proact Stadium.
The Championship club had been staring down the barrel for much of the night after Chesterfield had been the better side in the first half when they scored twice.
Ritchie Humphreys and Ollie Banks put the home side 2-0 up at the break and, although Nahki Wells pulled one back, Eoin Doyle looked to have settled it when he pounced on a rebound with 18 minutes left.
But Wells converted a penalty after Jon Stead was tripped by Tendayi Darikwa and then Tommy Lee allowed a shot from Stead to squirm under his body to send the tie into extra time, before Wells completed his hat-trick and Joe Lolley added a fifth to give Huddersfield a victory to celebrate after the exit of manager Mark Robins at the weekend.
"The lads showed character," Lillis said. "At 3-1 down I looked at the clock with eight minutes to go and the fans were singing 'you're getting sacked in the morning' but I'm only the caretaker so I had a chuckle.
"I said to the lads that if you keep believing and keep going you get a bit of luck and fortunately we got a bit of luck with the third goal. All the squad have been fantastic and what pleased me was that in the 118th minute there were lads blocking shots on the line.
"That will do Nahki Wells the world of good, he's got a hat-trick and I'm well chuffed as a caretaker manager. Everyone put a shift in which is what I wanted. I played for the club for eight or nine years so I know what the club is like and if I can get that across to the players you don't know what you can do.
"We needed a win tonight but to do it like we did will give everyone a lift. I believe I will be in charge on Saturday and although it's difficult sometimes when you are a caretaker, I've got to make sure the players believe in me and I believe in them."
Chesterfield manager Paul Cook admitted: "It's disappointing that we've gone out but we've done well and unfortunately in stoppage time Tommy has made a mistake which cost us but that's life and we live with that at this club. I always back my players and we all know how good Tommy has been for this club.
"You've got to give great credit to Huddersfield for coming back and we wish them the best of luck. We have to get behind the players and continue to back them when they make mistakes.
"We had a great start at Orient and it's been well documented what's gone on at Huddersfield but they are a fantastic club and you only have to look at the calibre of players they've got. They can do teams serious damage and tonight they've hurt us."