Football: Nationwide League - Terriers put past behind

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The Independent Online
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN have the incentive of trying to replace Sunderland at the top of the First Division table when they take on second-placed Birmingham City today.

The Terriers' manager, Peter Jackson, watched his side crumble in the 4-1 defeat at Norwich last week - but he knows that will be the last thing on his players' minds when they take the field at St Andrew's. "The display at Norwich was our worst for a very long time but it's out of our system," he said.

Birmingham slipped to their first defeat in seven games when they were beaten 2-1 by Wimbledon in the Worthington Cup on Wednesday, but their manager Trevor Francis is under no illusions about which is the more vital clash.

"Of the two games, the match with Huddersfield is more important," Francis said. "We will be better on Saturday and you will see a different Birmingham performance."

The Ipswich manager George Burley is looking for his side to discover a killer instinct as they aim for a promotion place - starting with the visit of West Bromwich.

"Sometimes this season we have enjoyed territorial dominance without getting the right result," Burley said. "We need to get more shots on target and have been practising that in training."

Albion's manager, Denis Smith, is determined to keep the in-form striker Lee Hughes - but admits that will only be possible if the Baggies reach the Premiership.

"I'm not panicking yet but I realise that if we don't win promotion soon it's going to be very difficult to hold on to him," Smith said.

Watford might be settling into a comfortable position in the top six but their manager, Graham Taylor, is taking nothing for granted when his side travel to Bury today.

"We are well aware that Gigg Lane is no easy place to get points. You cannot afford to be second to the ball against Neil Warnock's sides," the former England manager said.