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Huddersfield Town v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

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Fan Focus: Huddersfield fan Matt says that Alex Pritchard was “labelled as a bad influence”

Ahead of Sunderland’s trip to the John Smith’s Stadium, Matty spoke to Huddersfield fan Matt Shaw of the And He Takes That Chance Podcast to get the lowdown on their team!

Photo by John Early/Getty Images

Matthew Crichton: After guiding the club to the playoff final last season, Carlos Coberan resigned as Huddersfield manager in the summer, were you frustrated that you could not keep him?

MS: Pretty gutted to be honest. In Huddersfield, it feels that when things get good we invariably have to self sabotage to make ourselves miserable again.

Misery is our safe zone. We were in a wonderful position this summer to be able to push on but the heirarchy didn’t really have the ambition or stomach to do so and instead decided to sell any assets that they could.

MC: The man who replaced him, Danny Schofield, was sacked after a run of 1 win in 8 matches - what were the factors behind such a dip in performances from last year?

MS: Danny is a bit of a cult hero from his time as a player here so giving him the opportunity felt like the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, it became very apparent very quickly that the players were in a bit of a malaise and didn’t really fancy playing for him.

Danny tried to change too much from what made us successful last season and from the outside looking in he appeared to have zero buy in from the playing staff, there was only one way that was going to go.

Huddersfield Town v Millwall - Sky Bet Championship
Mark Fotheringham’s playing career saw him play across England, Scotland and Germany, most notably with Norwich.
Photo by John Early/Getty Images

MC: A surprise appointment, Mark Fotheringham was given his first job in management with Huddersfield, what has he changed and how are fans finding him?

MS: Mark Fotheringham doesn’t really have much of a reputation as a player or coach in the UK so it was a tough sell to the fans.

He came in said some interesting words as they all do and got people onside but then went on the attack in press conferences singling out players for criticism which lead to a dip in results this losing support with the fanbase.

Initially he tried to be more offensive with a 3412 shape but like managers before him he’s quickly realised that he’s been sold a lame duck with what we have going forward as we’re as threatening as Elmo with a rubber knife.

He has recently realised that defensively we’re not bad if we maintain a compact shape and results are starting to pick up slightly.

MC: Given how close the Championship is this season, are fans still not overly worried about relegation?

MS: Fans are very worried about relegation. The club is up for sale, players are coming to the end of contracts and loyal fans are talking about walking away.

Being relegated would be incredibly detrimental to the future of this football club, it’s imperative that we stay up this year.

Blackpool v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship
After losing the playoff final last summer, Lewis O’Brien and Harry Toffolo both left Huddersfield to join newly promoted Nottingham Forest.
Photo by William Early/Getty Images

MC: Having lost the likes of Levi Colwill, Lewis O’Brien and Harry Toffolo, do you think the club’s recruitment was good enough this summer?

MS: No. The club have completely underestimated what an important cog Lewis O’Brien was and have failed to replace him and Toffolo effectively.

Other players started to dip last season and the club has failed to look forward and plan for this as well - hence we’re now 23rd.

Of the players we’ve brought in, some will be very good Championship players any time between 6-24 months but there is a big feeling that we’ve taken our eyes off of the immediate to look to the future.

MC: Alex Pritchard will face Huddersfield for the first time since leaving to join Sunderland, did you expect him to become such a key figure in our dressing room?

MS: Absolutely not. He was labelled as a nuisance and a bad influence by several coaches and the owner.

He really struggled with a cyst on his knee whilst with us and it severely hampered his ability to play with much competence. He seemed like he was on a one way ride down the divisions.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town - Premier League - Molineux Stadium
Alex Pritchard made 83 appearances for Huddersfield, scoring three goals.
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

MC: Huddersfield reportedly beat Sunderland to the signing of Jack Rudoni in the summer, how has he performed so far?

MS: He’s one of the players who’ll be good at this level in the 6-24 month window. He’s not really achieved much yet, but there have been promising flashes of ability.

MC: Dean Hoyle is stepping back from his role at Huddersfield due to health reasons, has anyone been linked with buying the club and what would you like to see from the new owners?

MS: It’s a difficult question to answer. We’ve just had a fan as an owner for the best part of 14 years, he’s brought the community together, given us a decade in the top 2 tiers and we’ve seen crowds head towards 20,000 at this level and full houses in the tier above.

I don’t think there are any other rich Huddersfield fans out there willing to throw money into a black hole to get moaned at. If I had one observation of the Hoyle tenure it was that Huddersfield always felt like a local club and that’s something I hope we don’t lose.

However, I also feel that to move on and build upon the Hoyle foundations we perhaps need to broaden ourselves commercially and it would be nice to have a new owner that can both run us with common sense and also help open us up to new markets which raises the profile of the club which would increase revenue streams.

Huddersfield Town v Manchester United - Premier League
Huddersfield won promotion to the Premier League during the Dean Hoyle era back in 2017.
Photo by William Early/Getty Images

MC: What style of play can Tony Mowbray’s side expect to encounter?

MS: Shithousing 101. We’ve recently thrown away the attacking gusto to stay tight and compact to pick up points.

We’ll try and stay solid at the back and break on the counter when opportunities arise.

MC: The two sides will meet for the first time since 2003, what is your prediction for the final score?

MS: We’re without our main attacking outlet in Sorba Thomas so... 0-0.


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