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Last Updated: Friday, 27 June, 2003, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Jackson out to turn Huddersfield around

Exclusive by Paul Fletcher

Peter Jackson is determined to take Huddersfield back up the Football League following his appointment as manager at the club for a second time.

When Jackson was sacked as Huddersfield boss in May 1999 the club had just finished the season 10th in Division One and boasted a squad of talented players.

Four years later the superb McAlpine Stadium is preparing to host Division Three football and the club have only just secured a Company Voluntary Agreement after a period in administration.

Chairman Barry Rubery, who sacked Jackson and appointed Steve Bruce, has quit the club and the new boss is inheriting a squad that comprises just eight senior players.

I'm going to try my best to turn this club around
Peter Jackson
It is a sad situation for a proud club and a massive challenge for Jackson, who feels a keen association with the club having also been skipper at the club during his playing career.

"I still have a lot of good friends," Jackson told this website. "Huddersfield is my club, I have always said that and it is great to be back."

Bruce spent heavily after his appointment but the club just missed out on the Division One play-offs.

The manager walked out the following October, much to Rubery's chagrin, who later admitted that he had made a mistake is sacking Jackson for a big name boss.

The dream of emulating rivals Bradford by reaching the Premiership was fading fast

Lou Macari arrived but relegation to Division Two followed.

Born Bradford 1961
Played over 600 League games
Jackson played for Bradford, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Chester and Halifax
Managed Huddersfield from 1997-99
Macari almost got the team back up to Division One but defeat in play-offs at the end of the 2001-02 season was a bitter blow.

Rubery's interest - and cash - was disappearing fast and the financial problems that now dog Huddersfield began to emerge.

Mick Wadsworth, a former number two at Newcastle and a respected coach, took over but worse followed.

The team continued to slump as the club slipped into administration.

Wadsworth departed in March and Mel Machin was put in charge, but he could not prevent relegation to Division Three.

And so a club pushing for the Premiership four years ago found itself in the Football League's basement division, unable to pay its players and in administration.

Rubery recently agreed to write off the 12.5m he is owed by the club and a new consortium is now hopeful of moving Town forward after coming out of administration.

Jackson himself is keen to get started but is refusing to set firm targets.

"I have had opportunities before to go back into football, I turned three jobs down because I did not feel it was the right club at the right time - Huddersfield is," said Jackson.

"My family know how passionate I was as manager here last time around and as soon as I was offered the opportunity I jumped at the chance.

"Since I left there have been two relegations and four managers but that is by the by now

Peter Jackson is back in charge at Huddersfield
Jackson is committed to Huddersfield
"It is important I stamp my authority on the club and lead us out of the mess we are in.

"I'm not going to predict where we will be next season but hopefully we will be on a level footing and move forward.

"I'm going to try my best to turn this club around. If we can hit the play-offs next season it would be a fantastic achievement by everybody.

Despite being out of management for four years Jackson, a firm fans' favourite at Huddersfield, has been involved in football through his media work.

"I have been in the industry, I have not been away and been a car salesman. I have watched a lot of games and seen a lot of players over the last four years.

"I cannot wait to get started and I cannot wait to turn this club around."

Maybe after four years of mistakes and frustration Huddersfield can finally start moving in the right direction.


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