Huddersfield Town: ‘It’s going to be one of the worst moments I have as a coach’

With a full squad to choose from, Carlos Corberan is dreading having to tell Huddersfield Town players he considers good enough to be playing at Wembley on Sunday that they will not even make the bench for the Championship play-off final.

In most respects, the Spaniard’s options are a blessing as he looks for a way to beat Nottingham Forest and claim a place in next season’s Premier League but it will leave him with some awkward conversations.

Corberan says his 11 starters will know who they are from the tactical work Huddersfield have been doing at Canalside since returning from a warm-weather training camp in Portugal, but the make-up of the seven-strong bench will cause him headaches.

“It’s not going to be easy for me because some of the players who are not going to be involved in the game could easily be starting and I know all the families will be there with them and it’s a special moment for everyone,” said Corberan, who will be making his first trip to Wembley.

Terriers head coach Carlos Corberan. Picture: Tony Johnson

He added: “It’s going to be one of the worst moments I have as a coach.

“I have to make some unfair decisions because I can only select 16 outfield players plus two keepers.”

It would be stretching it to say the Terriers have a fully-fit squad with Matty Pearson having missed the last nine matches with a knee injury but the centre-back’s importance to the team and his mental strength means he will be in contention.

“With his character he can maybe compensate for his lack of minutes so he’s going to be an option I want to consider,” explained Corberan.

Danny Ward is back in full training after the injury which took him off in the semi-final second leg, and the fact his replacement Jordan Rhodes scored the winner further muddies the waters.

Huddersfield have become extremely flexible under Corberan, making their approach hard to predict. Given that, Corberan did not want to give opposite number Steve Cooper any clues but he says the players know what XI to expect.

“All the players that are going to play know who’s going to be in the first XI and who is not,” he said. “We have decided and we’ve been working with the team just to create the habits of which players are going to play.

“We have had a lot of time (12 days) to prepare for this important game and we’ve divided it into two parts. The first part we were preparing in Portugal and we have been here all week to prepare for the game, so we’ve had a lot of time to work on the details.

“The players are really motivated with a very good level of concentration knowing the key is what we do on the pitch. They’ve been very focused.”

The players were able to bring their families to Portugal, and Ward thinks it was a good move.

“We still put the work in over there but it was good to get a bit of a change with such a big game coming up,” he argued. “It worked really well.

“We were able to spend time with the families and have time around the pool relaxing with the kids. It was good to get the hard work done in the morning and have a bit of family time. The kids were all playing together, which was nice to see.”