Huddersfield Town boss Andre Breitenreiter on Kevin Nagle's interactions, Alex Matos and Championship opponents Rotherham United

THE first season of Kevin Nagle’s brave new world at Huddersfield Town will hopefully be remembered for the club ending a testing 2023-24 campaign by retaining their cherished Championship status some time in the spring.

The devout hope is that the best is yet to come on that front. Any such celebrations would be euphoric and relieving in equal measure.

Come what may, it will also be a year recalled for something else.

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Nagle’s candour in his interactions on social media regarding first-team results and performances have provided a fair bit of colour to the landscape and certainly a talking point. As have his video diaries.

Huddersfield Town's Alex Matos in Championship action against Yorkshire rivals Hull City last month. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.Huddersfield Town's Alex Matos in Championship action against Yorkshire rivals Hull City last month. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Huddersfield Town's Alex Matos in Championship action against Yorkshire rivals Hull City last month. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

While some traditionalists will stick to the belief that those in the corridors of power at football clubs should be seen, but not necessarily heard, others think otherwise with Nagle’s accessibility and openness viewed as a good thing in the modern world. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.

In his latest diary on ‘X’, Nagle referenced the club’s four January signings including Chelsea loanee Alex Matos and stated his belief that he would return to Town’s starting line-up for the crunch weekend trip to Rotherham United following three substitute appearances.

Just like his predecessors in Darren Moore and Neil Warnock, Andre Breitenreiter has had to field questions about comments from his boss in a press conference.

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While Warnock took umbrage at some of Nagle’s opinions in early season and returned with a broadside, Moore chose to be diplomatic.

Like Moore, Breitenreiter’s response was respectful, but also made a telling point in his own way on Thursday.

He said: "First of all, we have really good conversations. We speak a minimum of once a week and it’s absolutely interesting to hear his opinion on everything as he’s so experienced on many things.

"I don’t have to tell all the people what success he has had as a person.

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"With Alex Matos, for me as a manager, I am responsible for the line-up and the training sessions and this is clear with everyone. And for this, I have no discussion because this is what I am here (for) and I am an experienced manager and know what I have to do."

Breitenreiter’s reasoning behind his decision to rest Matos following nine successive starts made eminent sense.

It also suggests that Town are in good hands as well.

He commented: "When we want to speak about Alex, I like him too. But it’s really important to lead a talent in the right way.

"Yes, he started and had some really good games here. Then, he started again and the games were not so good and this is absolutely normal for a talent and a young player.

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"You can all be sure you have a manager who knows how to work with young players and improve them and develop them. Sometimes, it means to start and sometimes, he’s on the bench.

"When I review the last games, he did well coming from the bench.

"Sometimes, such a situation is good for a young player as he’s not so under pressure and he can really develop and we also need his dynamic and quality in the second half sometimes. Maybe in other games, as a starter, again."

After two successive defeats, Town face a Rotherham side who are making a quick march to League One.

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The Millers have lost nine games in a row and have won just three league matches this season.

Understandably, confidence is low, although footage of the Terriers' last away game at Cardiff, when the hosts sat off the visitors in a low block and took their chance and defended the lead fairly comfortably might just provide the hosts with an easy-to-follow game plan.

Should that happen, Huddersfield will be prepared, according to Breitenreiter, who will not need to be told twice about the importance of taking three points against a League One-bound side who have picked up just two points from 12 Championship matches in 2024 with their last win coming on Boxing Day.

He commented: “I don’t know if they really want to play like Cardiff at home - maybe.“At Cardiff, we had a poor day, but had enough solutions to beat them and take good decisions, but we didn’t play.

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"I am sure they (Rotherham) watched the clips and I hope they will defend like Cardiff as then we’ll definitely make it better to create chances and score."But we also prepare (for) high pressing as it’s a home game where they have nothing to lose and maybe think we are under pressure and we can't (afford to) make mistakes in the build-up. But we have trained for everything and have to concentrate on our game."

Rhys Healey is in line to return to action after the international break, while fellow Bojan Radulovic, who missed the club’s last game with West Brom due to a back issue, returned to full training on Thursday.