Huddersfield Town fans have been on the end of glowing praise from Tom Lees, who is delighted to have supporters back in the stadium for the start of his career as a Terrier.
Lees was a late summer addition for Town, arriving on a free transfer after leaving Sheffield Wednesday at the end of 2020/21.
Carlos Corberan was forced to hand Lees a premature debut due to Matty Pearson’s illness ahead of last week’s win over Preston, a game in which the centre-back did well.
However, we are now starting to see the best of Lees, who produced his most complete display to date in a Huddersfield shirt against Everton on Tuesday. That included a solid defensive contribution and also a goal, as he met Sorba Thomas’ corner with an emphatic header for 1-1.
The 30-year-old peeled away towards the South Stand, as Huddersfield silenced their Premier League visitors.
Discussing his goal and resulting celebration, Lees told yesterday’s press conference: “It might not have been capacity the other night but the atmosphere was brilliant. I had been thinking that if I did get a goal, I just hoped it was at that end, with that group of fans that get everything going. They start all the songs and are the hub of the atmosphere.
“I was buzzing to get a goal in-front of them and just celebrate it.
“I’ve not played with the fans much because I had my injury and a few of the lads have a few games head start on me, so I was just enjoying it.”
Lees has played for both Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday earlier in his career, experiencing the Huddersfield atmosphere as an opposing player.
He featured for the Owls in their play-off semi-final defeat to Huddersfield back in 2017. That was, of course, a special season at the John Smith’s Stadium as David Wagner led the club to the Premier League.
The atmosphere gathered as the season progressed and has already been a topic of conversation between Lees and Jonathan Hogg.
Lees revealed: “I’ve known having played here as an away player how good the atmosphere can be. I’ve played in the play-offs here, so I’ve seen it bouncing.
“The first day I signed here I had a conversation with Hoggy and we were talking about those play-offs, he was saying how good the fans are.”
2020/21 has seen the welcome return of supporters up and down the country, which is something that Lees is revelling in now he’s a Huddersfield player.
Carlos Corberan’s side host Reading in the Championship tomorrow, looking for a third win on the bounce in-front of their recharged fanbase.
That influence supporters have on football isn’t lost on Lees: “It’s good (a vocal backing). It creates that buzz as soon as you arrive at the stadium. When you are getting out of your car, there’s a bit more of a buzz around the place.
“The atmosphere is just miles better and adds that little bit more to the game. It’s like a proper game of football.
“People might say ‘it’s only a League Cup game’ but the atmosphere was brilliant. Everton brought a great following and it just made the game better. It would have been a totally different game on a Tuesday with a few changes had the ground been empty.”