Like many football clubs up and down the land, Huddersfield Town divide the local community. The decisions taken, the form of the side, the players in the squad and the manager all come under constant scrutiny – this season being no different.
The Terriers so far sit in 15th position in the Sky Bet Championship to which this is their fourth season in this league since their promotion in 2012. In that time the club has seen many changes but hasn’t really improved a great deal.
The Championship for many is the hardest league in Europe, with its nonstop action, and packed match schedule. The full extent of club’s squads must be used.
In a summer of turmoil in terms of key players being lost, it looked like the club might be going into meltdown, but Chris Powell has steadied the ship so far. The likes of Connor Coady, Alex Smithies and Jacob Butterfield left Town for pastures new. Many Town fans were worried for the new season. An opening day defeat to Hull and an overall poor August saw Town pick up just three points from their first six games.
September went far better for the Terriers with Chairman Dean Hoyle addressing key concerns at a fans Q&A session. Hoyle expressed his continued eagerness for the academy to produce local talent and also outlined why several key players were allowed to leave the club.
October began with defeat at Cardiff City, meaning Powell was put under pressure with talk amongst supporters over a potential sacking. However, in hindsight, this was overhyped by fans on social media. Powell was still confident he could produce the goods for the West Yorkshire club. Next up it was a trip to Charlton a club that Powell has legend status at. It was a must win game for him as he was under continued pressure from the supporters to get Town’s first win. They didn’t disappoint, earning a 2-1 win against the London side.
Wins against Bolton Wanderers and MK Dons have slightly lifted the pressure off the Town boss for now, with draws against Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town also looking like good results. A comprehensive 3-0 defeat away at Wolverhampton Wanderers sandwiched between these results failed to dampen what has been an impressive recovery from a rocky start.
There is no doubt Powell and his backroom staff have sorted out the defence to a degree. With Martin Craine and Elliot Ward shoring up a leaky defence. Ward now back at Bournemouth after his loan ended, means club captain Mark Hudson comes back into the fold and has so far done a decent job. There are still worries over Town’s defence though especially against the better opposition. Dean Whitehead has also been impressive so far this season and has improved the defensive side of Town’s team considerably.
It is upfront where Town are struggling, not only to score goals but creating chances for the men up front. Saturday’s 2-0 defeat across the Pennines at Burnley was a reminder of that.
Ultimately if Town want to progress up this division they need to improve defensively, create more upfront and be more consistent in their results overall.
It will be a testing month coming up for Town who face some stiff competition. Many Town fans believe once again there are a number of teams worse than them, and so the Terriers shouldn’t be in a relegation scrap this time around. If Town finished the season in 14th-16th then that would be a definite improvement.