WHAT a difference a fortnight makes.
Anyone doubting that point should have been at the John Smith’s Stadium for both the opening-day defeat to Bournemouth and last Saturday’s visit by Charlton Athletic.
From jeers to cheers inside two weeks is perhaps the best way of describing the transformation wrought between their dismal 4-0 loss to the Cherries and the battling display against the London side that, but for a stoppage-time equaliser and a controversial red card for Murray Wallace, would have brought a second win in as many Championship outings.
Joel Lynch, one of four players to start Huddersfield’s quartet of league games, is delighted that the feel-good factor is back and puts that down to the influence of interim manager Mark Lillis.
“It is a better club to be at,” said the 26-year-old ahead of tonight’s Capital One Cup second-round tie at home to his former club, Nottingham Forest.
“I won’t say anything was wrong (before) but we were playing a different formation.
“I do feel we are better suited to a back four. The 3-5-2 formation that we played last year, when it works it works. But when it didn’t, we struggled.
“We are more solid with four at the back. I think defensively we are more suited to it, same when we are attacking.
“Mark Lillis has come in and given the lads an extra boost. Everyone turns up happy, they all want to work hard and everyone is getting fit.
“The morale of the team has changed massively.
“To be around the changing room and the training ground with the lads is 100 per cent better than it was. Everyone is organised and happy.”
When the season kicked off with the visit of Bournemouth, few could have anticipated the dramatic turn of events that would unfold.
Things started badly with Eddie Howe’s side going ahead inside just 25 seconds, got poorer as Town proceeded to play dreadfully and then took a massive turn for the worse a few hours after the game when Mark Robins left the club.
That was the cue for Lillis to once again take the reins on a temporary basis, his first game ending in a morale-boosting Cup win at Chesterfield as the Terriers came from two goals down with eight minutes of normal time remaining to triumph 5-3 in extra-time.
Defeat at Cardiff in their next outing was then not without merit before Huddersfield stunned Reading a week ago with a 2-1 triumph at the Madejski.
Buoyed by that win, the Terriers dominated Charlton to such an extent that even visiting manager Bob Peeters admitted his side had been fortunate to escape with a point.
Much, therefore, to cheer Town fans as their side look to book a place in the League Cup third round for the second consecutive season.
Lynch said: “It was a great effort from the lads (on Saturday) and we were gutted to concede so late on.
“But that is football and we have to build on that point.
“It was a big improvement on the first game of the season. I thought the lads’ commitment was great and everyone was really working for each other.
“It was good to get a good home performance in, and I thought the fans were brilliant.
“They sang throughout the whole game and were like the extra man we needed after the sending-off.
“We played really well at Reading but getting a good home performance was important after what happened on the opening day.”
Radoslaw Majewski is unable to play tonight as part of the season-long loan deal that brought the midfielder to Huddersfield, while Lillis seems likely to rotate his squad.
Lee Peltier is definitely out with a recurrence of his groin problem, while Nahki Wells took a knock to his ankle on Saturday and may not be risked.
Jon Stead and Danny Ward are pushing to start up front as James Vaughan is likely to continue his comeback from calf problems from off the bench as he did to effect against Charlton.
Wallace is available after Town’s appeal against his red card was upheld and he is likely to partner Lynch, who will be facing his old club.
Lynch continued: “It is my old team but have got to a point now where I just want to play.
“I don’t mind who it is against, I just want to play. It happens that the next one is against Forest but I have nothing against them.
“I have played for Town against Forest before and I love it here.
“I signed a new deal and am buzzing to be here for the next few years, helping the club build and get bigger.”
Last six games: Huddersfield Town WLWLWD, Nottingham Forest LWWDWW.
Referee: M Brown (East Yorkshire).
Last time: Huddersfield Town 0 Nottingham Forest 3; February 11, 2014; Championship.