‘SuperMac’ Malcolm Macdonald achieved much in his career. A hat-trick against Liverpool on his Newcastle debut. Five goals in one game for England against Cyprus. Finishing Division One’s top scorer in 1975 and 1977.
But he admits his reputation has never recovered from THAT Division Two defeat to Manchester City as Huddersfield manager 30 years ago.
The 10-1 hammering, on November 7, 1987 at City’s old Maine Road ground, remains the Terriers’ heaviest loss and the Blues’ biggest league win.
Macdonald had only been in the job for a few weeks and never managed again, after he was sacked five months later with Town hurtling towards Division Three.
As Pep Guardiola’s star-studded City prepare to visit David Wagner’s Championship-promotion chasing Terriers in Saturday’s FA Cup fifth round tie, he said: “For me, personally, it was a seriously damaging result.
“The fact we’re still talking about it now, 30 years on, says everything.
“Relegations are forgotten, but record-breaking defeats are not. Every club has its record defeat and Huddersfield’s happened to be on my watch. It’s there in the record books.
“The players’ names don’t sit alongside it, but mine does. I’ll always be associated with that awful day. It took them a long while to recover and perhaps you can say my reputation never did.”
Macdonald insists the match was not as one-sided as the scoreline — Tony Adcock, Paul Stewart and Dave White scored hat-tricks — suggests, and claims his stats man recorded that Huddersfield managed more shots than City.
“Funnily enough, we’d started really well and looked the better team for 10 minutes or so,” he recalled. “But then the goals started going in and it was 4-0 at half-time.
“I spent the break trying to organise the back four, telling my defenders to drop off.But it had been hammered into them by the previous coach to step up. So confusion and chaos reigned when they went back out and the goals kept going in. When City attacked, it was a bit like the Alamo, the way they were just charging through.
“I remember looking across at the far side, and it was almost as if the linesman was charging with them, the way he was running down the line. It was like he was joining in the City attacks, enjoying the charge.
“But the crazy thing is we had 19 shots to their 12!
“We played City later that season and beat them. You wouldn’t exactly call it revenge though.”
Macdonald, 67, has been warmly welcomed to the John Smith’s Stadium, despite his traumatic six months in charge of the Terriers, and will be rooting for them against City on Saturday.
“I’ve still got a bit of a soft spot for Huddersfield,” he added. “I wish them well on Saturday and, whatever happens, I’m certain it won’t be 10-1 this time.”