Watson eyeing happy return to Hillsborough

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STEVE Watson heads back to Hillsborough on Saturday with no complaints about his final split from the Owls and with his sights set on a revival victory for Huddersfield.

The 37-year-old former Wednesday midfield player and Sheffield derby hero is the Terriers’ development coach.

He was released by the Owls two years ago and had to retire from playing because of a hip condition.

Although caretaker boss Sean McAuley invited him back to help out with coaching and organisation after the axing of Brian Laws, there was no room for Watson under Laws’ successor, Alan Irvine - now head of Everton’s academy - as he brought in Rob Kelly and Billy Barr.

“I made Alan aware I was hoping to stay but he brought two coaches in and that was the end of it,” says Watson, who bears no grudges.

“I speak to Alan regularly. He’s one of the good guys. I wish things had gone better for him. He’s a top-drawer coach.”

Watson has just completed his first year at Huddersfield.

“I was pleased to be given a chance to get back in the game under a manager I know [Lee Clark], and I’ve had a great first year,” he said.

“I do a lot of work with the first team, but I’m also involved in bringing the kids through; I’m learning my trade at a really good club.

“It’s nice to be going back to Hillsborough. It’s been a couple of years since I last went there. I’ve got some fond memories, and there’s the prospect of a great game on Saturday, with both teams flying high.”

Watson, who scored the winner in a Sheffield derby with a sublime lob, says that Huddersfield will have to be on form, after losing their last two games.

“They’ve been disappointing, especially last Saturday’s [a 1-0 home defeat against Bournemouth].

“We’ve lost a bit of ground. We didn’t play as well as we can. We need to be at our best.”

He says that the Terriers will be well prepared: “Lee watches more games than anybody I know; we’ve seen quite a lot of Wednesday.

“We know they’re a big, strong unit, who won’t miss an opportunity to get the ball in the box and will put pressure on.

“We have to compete and make sure we don’t forget to do the stuff we’re good at with the ball.”