Comment: Why now is no time for a novice as Huddersfield Town need experience to rally around

IF managerless Huddersfield Town require a spot of hope amid their tortuous 2022-23 campaign and parlous survival fight, it should come from the experiences of someone who the club knows pretty well.

It is almost seven years to the day that the self-proclaimed 'Red Adair' of football management in the shape of the inimitable Neil Warnock rode to the rescue of another ailing Yorkshire club in Rotherham United, who were in a similarly bereft state at this stage of the 2015-16 season.

The Millers were ensconced in the relegation zone with 25 points from 30 matches.

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The rest is history. Warnock's masterful fire-fighting skills saw Rotherham win six of their last 16 league fixtures and lose just four times en route to an outstanding act of relegation escapology. Two of those defeats arrived when the Millers were safe and the job was done.

Neil Warnock. Picture: Nick Potts/PA.Neil Warnock. Picture: Nick Potts/PA.
Neil Warnock. Picture: Nick Potts/PA.

Town find themselves in an almost identical position today. It looks the sort of situation tailor-made for someone of the ilk of Warnock, whose encore arrived when he saved another White Rose side Middlesbrough from a very hairy Championship predicament in 2019-20.

Could Warnock be drawn to one of his former clubs in Town for one last hurrah and coaxed out of retirement briefly? His bond with the club remains strong and genuine, with his revered Terriers promotion-winning class of 1994-95 fondly recalled to this day.

It was a group devoid of big-time Charlie’s who embodied the 'Terrier Spirit' long before David Wagner entered the building.How Huddersfield need some of that in the here and now.

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Chris Wilder, pictured, another Yorkshireman who has successfully handled his fair share of tough gigs, would be another figure who the club’s players could follow.

The tenure of Huddersfield's last two head coaches in Mark Fotheringham and Danny Schofield is 133 days and 68 days respectively.

The season finishes in three months and Town are in desperate need of someone who knows what they are doing to galvanise the club's players and fanbase in double-quick time, by providing on-pitch clarity to lift sagging spirits. After a chaotic Blackpool night, it was a case of when not if Fotheringham would exit.

Town followers tellingly made their feelings known in no uncertain terms when the Scot went over to clap them after his side had to settle for a point, despite playing with an extra man against a direct relegation rival for the entire second half.

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Many had grown tired of Fotheringham's relentless positivity in interviews, but failure to consistently back it up with deeds as opposed to words and hot air. A bit like Jesse Marsch up the road at Leeds.

Fotheringham, like Marsch, was rapidly running out of time. He was also burning bridges with his players, who were entitled to wonder where they stood with him.

Alongside the regular gushing praise, there was frequent usage of the term unacceptable when bad results transpired, like Tuesday’s. It pointed to someone not fully in control of the situation. With respect, now is not the time for Championship novices.