Huddersfield sack manager Clark

Huddersfield Town have taken the decision to sack Lee Clark and his management team, despite the club sitting fourth in League One, four points off automatic promotion. A 1-0 loss at home to promotion rivals Sheffield United last night meant Huddersfield had won only four of their last 10 games, dropping into the play-off positions. However, the defeat was only Clark's third in 30 games – an indication that the decision to relieve him may be due to off-field circumstances, specifically his desire to take over the vacant manager's post at Leeds United following Simon Grayson’s dismissal at the start of the month. "This was a very difficult decision; one not taken lightly or in response to one result," chairman Dean Hoyle told the club website.

"However with 16 matches to go we still have an opportunity to achieve promotion and we have made this change with this in mind."

Since taking over the Terriers in 2008, the 39 year-old former Newcastle United and Fulham midfielder had enjoyed a successful tenure at the club, despite failing to gain promotion after huge investment, relative to that of their League One rivals.

Last season was Clark’s most successful at the Galpharm Stadium, as he led Huddersfield to the second longest unbeaten run in English football history - completing 43 games without a loss - resulting in a play-off final appearance.

Clark has also been linked with the managerial position at Wolves, after Mick McCarthy's sacking, but his lack of experience - his job at Huddersfield was only his second coaching role after a stint as assistant manager at Norwich City - makes Leeds a more realistic destination.

Academy manager Mark Lillis will take temporary charge of the first team until a new manager is appointed.

By Vithushan Ehantharajah