By Corey Simpson-Pearce –
Huddersfield Town take on Birmingham City at the John Smith Stadium on Saturday 18th February at 15:00.
This week Huddersfield town announced the return of manager Neil Warnock to the club. Warnock officially retired as a manager at the end of the 20/21 season, and was completely retired until Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle rang him up and asked him to be manager until the end of the season.
Warnock professed that he feels like he could help Dean Hoyle and was persuaded by his wife, Sharon, to help this squad of players to fight and hopefully avoid relegation. Warnock described his return to Huddersfield as ‘emotional’ as he was very successful with Huddersfield from 1993-95 which saw him win the Yorkshire electricity cup in 1994 and he later brought Huddersfield town back to the first division in the 1995 season.
After that, Warnock left Huddersfield town following a fallout with some of the staff at the club at the time. Over his 40 years of management Neil Warnock was renowned for being that manager that turned clubs around, from doubters to believers and Huddersfield Town fans will most certainly be hoping that he can turn it around and push them out of relegation.
Getting Huddersfield out of relegation would be one of Warnock’s biggest achievements considering the fixtures that remain for the terriers.
He jokingly said that ‘you’d have to be an idiot to take this job. 15 games left and all of the top 4 teams in the league left to play and then went on to say ‘luckily, I am (an idiot) so that’s why I’m here’.
Huddersfield’s defensive options are not particularly strong at the moment with injuries plaguing the defenders.
William Boyle did not help himself or the team in midweek as his dismissal in the defeat against stoke sees him out for the weekend. Right-back Matthew Pearson is a doubt as he was substituted off after 30 minutes on Wednesday night.
Jonathan Hogg could play as a makeshift centre-back as Huddersfield’s defensive options are that sparse.
Birmingham have injury issues of their own. With the blues without attacker Reda Khadra. Youngsters Jobe Bellingham and Tate Campbell will also not feature in Saturday’s game with muscle and stomach injuries applying to them both.
One to watch
My one to watch this week is purely on the basis that, we have no idea what kind of starting lineup Neil Warnock is going to choose for Saturday’s game. Therefore, I am going for another footballing veteran in Troy Deeney.
With Huddersfield’s defensive options being depleted this could be a game for Troy Deeney to really use all of his experience to get into areas that will make it difficult for defenders without much experience or if Hogg does play makeshift centre-back.
My prediction is that Huddersfield will get a massive manager bounce, playing at home with a manager that the fans love. I believe that the atmosphere will really carry the game and the team will be inspired to go and win.
Due to their lack of defensive options, I believe that a clean sheet will be near impossible, especially if they are up against such a veteran striker like Troy Deeney.
However, I expect Huddersfield to win this game 2-1 under their new manager and start this new Neil Warnock era in the right way.