FOR the best part of seven weeks, Huddersfield Town have been searching for the victory that should be enough to preserve the club’s Championship status.
During that time, the gap between the Terriers and the relegation zone has shrunk from 16 points to just six.
It means that the Easter double-header is now of paramount importance to Mark Robins’s men as they prepare to host Brighton & Hove Albion today and then make the long trip to Yeovil Town on Monday.
Town simply have to end a winless run that currently stands at nine games, as manager Robins readily admits.
He said: “We are in a relegation battle and we have known that for a while.
“We have got decent players here, though, and even though they are young and relatively inexperienced they are capable. We need to show the supporters that we can win a game of football. We are in for a scrap for the remainder of the season.
“In the coming weeks we have got three more big challenges and we need to pick up points. Let’s step up to the mark.”
Town’s cause will not be helped today by both Joel Lynch and Peter Clarke being suspended.
The defensive duo were sent off in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Derby County and while Clarke will be available at Huish Park, Lynch must serve a two-game ban due to being dismissed earlier in the season at home to Reading.
Brighton will be tough opposition after reviving their fading play-off hopes with back-to-back wins but Town need a positive result.
Robins added: “After Easter the outlook may be completely different. Mathematically, it is uncomfortable. We would much rather be clear of trouble by now.
“From the position that we were in at the turn of the year, it is disappointing to be where we are now.
“We haven’t played bad football at times, but the Ipswich game (when Town lost 2-0) left a real sour taste in the mouth for everybody concerned. The players weren’t happy.
“Whereas the Derby game was a one-off, we lost two players and from that point didn’t have a chance of winning. However, if some of the stuff prior to those incidents had gone our way the game could have changed.
“Had Danny Ward being awarded a penalty, they would have lost a man. Had Nahki Wells tried to go round the goalkeeper, he may have scored or won a penalty. It was very close to being flipped on its head. We are ready to put a shift in against Brighton.”
Last six games: Huddersfield Town LDDLLL, Brighton & Hove Albion LLDDWW.
Last time: Huddersfield Town 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2; April 27, 2013; Championship.
Referee: A Davies (Hampshire).