MICHAEL HEFELE admits Huddersfield Town must turn the John Smith’s Stadium back into the impenetrable “castle” that helped the club go top of the Championship earlier in the season.
The Terriers have taken just four points from as many outings on home soil since the start of October, a record which contrasts sharply with the five-match winning sequence that ensured David Wagner’s men got off to a flier.
This slump in home form together with some poor away results has led to Town slipping out of the play-off places for the first time this term.
“Your home stadium has to be your castle,” said German defender Hefele. “The opponents come to your castle and see there is no chance to get three points, that is how we have to be.
“They have to see we are very strong all over the pitch. We need to get the winning streak back. When you are in this mode to win a game and win again then you feel so confident.
“When the results are not so good, maybe you think about it more. Maybe you lose confidence. That is a big thing in football.”
Hefele is again expected to start in central defence today when Bristol City head to the John Smith’s. It will be his fifth start in the last seven Town games, suggesting the German has come to terms with the rigours of the Championship following his arrival last summer.
“In the first weeks, it was difficult because the football was different to Germany,” he said. “It was very physical, but now I am used to it.
“The big difference is I have played games. The Championship is the second toughest league in the world because there are hard boys here. Big and massive. When you get tackled, you just stand up and play on.”
Town’s slide down the table is down to a poor run of results, but Hefele insists the squad is not unduly worried due to performances being, on the whole, good.
“We are not worried about the run of results,” he added. “Look at our last two games, we played very well against Wigan and Blackburn. We had a lot of chances and a lot of ball possession.
“The opponent can be a little bit afraid when we play our short passes. Maybe we just need that little bit of luck. Martin Cranie hit the crossbar last time and we could have been 3-0 or 4-0 ahead after 30 minutes. Football is like that sometimes.
“This league is very competitive. Every team can win against every team. Look at Blackburn beating Newcastle a couple of weeks ago.”