Looking back to the start of the season, Neil Warnock departed in early September with the club in 16th place, how did this come about and were you sad to see him go?
Well... Neil Warnock is Neil Warnock.
Over the summer, American businessman Kevin Nagle took over the club and employed a new CEO in Jake Edwards and DoF in Mark Cartwright and they hoped Neil Warnock could provide continuity and a constant on the football side.
The problem I guess is that if Neil Warnock is your manager, then he also runs the club whether you like that or not. Nagle and co allowed Neil Warnock total transfer control in the summer and he struggled to get any real business over the line, which he then publicly blamed the owner for.
Once he threw shade at the new owner then there was always going to be a new dawn to follow. Personally, I was sad to see him go and felt that the decision was taken too hastily, it felt like Warnock was the string that held everything together and now that that’s been pulled everything is falling out of place.
The man who came in was former West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday manager, Darren Moore, how has his tenure been so far?
Moore has been dealt a tough hand. When Neil Warnock whistled, the Huddersfield fans would dance to whatever tune he’d trill. There’s a love affair there; Warnock in his first stint as Town manager took us to Wembley twice in twelve months and then last season when everything looked lost, returned and oversaw a great escape act. As a result, Warnock is a VERY popular man in Huddersfield so whoever followed was already going to be met with a frown and a dose of scepticism.
With Moore’s dour personality and football, his popularity isn’t exactly high right now, especially considering he was stitched up somewhat by Director of Football Mark Cartwright’s comments in that it was Moore’s attacking and exciting approach to football that got him the job.
There are mitigating factors to this tough start though; the small squad is currently going through yet another injury crisis and Moore has been without practically all of our striking options at some point as he’s struggled to get his methods across.
One very fortunate win over QPR in his 10 games so far already has a healthy section of fans calling for his immediate removal but it feels too harsh to judge until he’s at least had a close to full squad to pick from.
A takeover was completed by American businessman Kevin Nagle in the summer, how are things looking under him?
A lot of talk but very little action so far other than sacking a club legend. Most of Nagle’s focus has been on fan zones and securing the stadium for the football club after the council announced that they could no longer afford to run it.
A lot of fans aren’t buying that the club have been under FFI sanctions since the takeover and mistake his frugality for a lack of willingness to invest in players.
January is a big month already for Mr Nagle, more inaction and the apathy that we are seeing in the fanbase will only grow and cause large numbers of fans to stay away.
Moving onto the players, Huddersfield appeared to have a very quiet summer, bringing in Chris Maxwell and Ben Wilkes, as well Tom Edwards and Delano Burgzorg - who has stood out so far?
None of them. Maxwell made his league debut against Southampton on Saturday and did well but he has been brought in as our 2nd choice keeper.
Ben Wiles has been struggling with injury for the best part of 12 months and as of yet hasn’t looked fit enough to make an impact.
Delano Burgzorg has flashes of flair but I’ve seen 5-year-olds with better cognitive thinking with a football and Tom Edwards looks like a bloke picked from the stand to play dizzy penalties at half time, an atrocious signing.
Looking at outgoings, it seemed like more players left permanently or on loan than came in, was this financially related?
As the club were under FFI restrictions, Warnock tried to move a large number of players out to create more wiggle room with the wage bill.
Then he failed to get several signings over the line and here we are...
Sunderland were highly linked with Jack Rudoni before he joined Huddersfield, how is he getting on into his second season at the club?
He struggled for most of last season. Rudoni largely overplayed in the final third and his decision-making was too ponderous.
However, once Neil Warnock got hold of him and got him to simplify his game, we saw a much-improved player. Rudoni had started this season well, he’s still a little bit wasteful in and around the penalty box but his passing output and forward runs were creating opportunities that weren’t there last season.
Then typically for us, he got injured just as he was becoming an important cog in the machine.
It’s looking likely that Alex Pritchard will leave Sunderland in January, after his ear-cupping celebration last season I’m guessing you wouldn’t be open to taking him back?
He could bring his fishing rod and stand in my garden near the pond if he likes?
He’d probably be as effective there as he was in over 3 years with Huddersfield Town.
Looking at the form table, Huddersfield are without a win in five - is this a great time to be playing you?
Yes. We’ve got a tiny squad with around 50% of it out injured.
We were 3 players away from being able to fill the bench on Saturday and the mood around HD1 is incredibly defeatist and negative.
What style of play can we expect from Moore’s side and which eleven players do you think will start?
Warnock showed last season in our trip to The Stadium of Light that we have players who can perform a high press and cause Sunderland to turn the ball over when playing out from the back, but I suspect that Moore will line us up in a very low block 541 and we’ll try stink the place out for a 0-0.
It’s a tactic that he’s tried to employ in the last 3 games and it’s been monotonous in the extreme watching it. I just hope that he’s learned from the Ipswich and Southampton games whereby we performed the high press excellently at times and caused two top sides a lot of issues.
At a guess the team will be:
(5-4-1) Nicholls (GK), Jackson, Pearson, Helik, Lees, Nakayama, Thomas, Hogg, Kasumu, Headley, Koroma.
Sunderland took four points from Huddersfield last season - what is your prediction for the final score?
Moore to play too conservatively and Sunderland to pick us off. Sunderland 2-0 Huddersfield.