Town Face A Real Stiff Test Down at Brentford – Huddersfield Fans’ View
Huddersfield have been flying high all season in The Championship. But they have a tough task ahead of them – taking on the mighty Bees with a spring in their tail and scoring goals for fun. Billy Grant caught up with Terrier Cas (@Terrier1987cas) to get the low-down on what’s happening in Yorkshire at this moment in time.
Huddersfield have been having fun this season. Did you think when you beat us 2-1 in that first game of the season you would be in this position now?
No. I was optimistic about this season because we signed well in the summer and I’d already bought into what Wagner was doing, but optimism for me was a top half finish and maybe even top 10 – never did I think we’d be where we are now!
Wagner really turned things around this summer. But it didn’t go unnoticed. When I went to Germany on pre-season tour last summer I was chatting with one of our senior management team who flagged up then that Huddersfield had invested very well and would be a threat. What is it he did to make such a difference ?
We did invest well, but we didn’t invest heavily, which is a bonus. We broke our transfer record for Christopher Schindler at around £1.5m and he’s been immense at the back for us, finally adding some defensive stability that had been missing for what seemed like forever. Aaron Mooy was another cracking bit of business. Nobody had heard of him in August but he’s got to be in the discussion for Championship POTY.
There were other good signings but the biggest thing he did was spend time with the players – the first team went on a team-building trip in the wilderness with no electricity, food etc and it seems to have developed a brilliant bond within the squad. Spending as much time on the training pitch also allowed him to get his ideas across properly and every player has bought into them 100%.
We asked Terrier Cass on the Beesotted Pride of West London Podcast (below) if he saw the signs from last season that you would do well this year? Did you see them?
Not to the extent where I thought we’d push for promotion, but there were definite signs that he knew what he was doing. Last season he started building the identity but didn’t have the players to make it work. He brought the players in and it’s better than any of us could have imagined.
You signed a fair few players in the summer. Who has really shone ?
Schindler and Mooy have already been discussed, but the list is endless really – Lowe, Palmer, Kachunga and Hefele have also played massive roles this season. Where Wagner doesn’t get enough credit though is the improvement we’ve seen in players who were already here. Tommy Smith has contributed towards more goals than any defender in the top 4 leagues from right back and Jonathan Hogg has been huge for us – covering every blade of grass and breaking up play to allow Mooy his freedom to be creative.
What has been your best result of the season do you reckon?
I think beating Brighton at home. It’s the best I’ve ever seen us play in my lifetime. We picked them apart, played brilliant stuff at 100mph and they couldn’t live with us.
We had a great day out in Huddersfield this season despite the result. We always seem to have a great time up there. You had the food and beer festival in the square this time in brilliant sunshine to deflect from the result. You must’ve had some good away days this season. Where was your top day out bar the result?
This season has been a one-off and we’ve been lucky enough to have some brilliant results, and some quality moments. Payne’s winner up at Newcastle tops the list for me. But Smith’s last second winner at Rotherham and Hefele’s equaliser at Villa aren’t far behind. As far as days out go, Newcastle wins by a landslide.
Not many games to go now. Do you think you can sneak automatic promotion ?
I’m keeping my expectations low to avoid disappointment and just enjoy the ride. But there’s no reason we can’t keep pressure on the top two if we keep playing like we have been since Christmas.
I’ve seen every Championship team play this season and you’re definitely up there. If you don’t make automatic promotion, I reckon you’ll do battle with Fulham with Reading (who are punching well above their weight) most probably dropping out of the race. That means Fulham will be on the up. Will you be have the staying power to take them out do you think?
At the minute I think we’re in desperate need of a break so a couple of weeks off at the end of March is a good start. If we do end up in the playoffs, I think the mini-break before they start will do us good and we’ll be ready to go again. There’ll definitely be no hangover on missing out on the top two and Wagner will have everyone fired up and playing at 100%. If someone beats us, they’ll have to play very well to do it.
When we were up there, we were pleasantly surprised to see Wagner has his own beer. The last manager we saw with his own beer was Karanka up in Middlesboro. The rest is history. Do you think this is a sign?
Haha. I hope so! The man’s a god up here. If we go up I’d 100% support the building of a statue in his honour.
Saturday will be a real test for the Bees. In my eyes, you are the best side in the Division after Newcastle and Brighton. Brentford are playing some fantastic football as of late. We’ve lost two games in the last eight, winning five and drawing one. We lost to Reading 3-2 when we were all over them (Jaap Stam said we were the best team they had played all season) and should have buried Brighton when we were 2-0 up, missed a penalty and were all over them. How do you reckon this match will pan out?
It’s never an easy game at Brentford, but I fancy us to win to keep up our good form. I think Wagner will remember last season’s drubbing and will want to make up for it.
Give us a score prediction.
2-1 away win.