Huddersfield Town v Bristol City: Terriers looking in fine health as they prepare for play-off test

“Every morning I wake up without pain, I say, ‘Thank you – today is a good day!’” says Huddersfield Town’s Pipa.

An arduous Championship season is catching up on Lewis O’Brien’s hip, which is why he sits out today’s visit of Bristol City, but hopefully nothing else.

Others – maybe Danel Sinani, Danny Ward and Levi Colwill – will have the day off too or a shorter shift, with coach Carlos Corberan admitting, “I don’t feel now all the players can play 90 minutes.” Sorba Thomas and Matty Pearson are working hard to be fit for the fixtures added to a 46-game campaign.

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Every club is in a similar boat, but as well as the luxury of having booked their play-off place Huddersfield also have players coming in relatively fresh and hitting their straps.

FIGHTING TO BE FIT: Huddersfield Town's Matty Pearson hopes to be available for the Championship play-offs. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Jordan Rhodes and even Naby Sarr scored important goals to wrap up a top-six finish. Last week, Tino Anjorin’s penalty was not just his first Terriers goal in what Corberan felt was his best performance but a winner which kept the wins coming even in a dead rubber.

With only five starts this season, Pipa has that freshness too, plus pep from the perspective of having laboured through the final weeks of last season with a groin problem which delayed the start of his 2021-22 until Christmas.

“I went a long time without playing and last season I was really struggling with an injury not knowing what it was,” he recalls. “When you have a long-term injury you value it more when you are fit.

“When I couldn’t play the first games I was frustrated because I’ve never played in England with fans in the stadium.

Huddersfield Town's Pipa hopes to have an injury-free end to the 2021-22 Championship season. Picture: John Early/Getty Images

“I didn’t want to go to watch the games because I wanted to play so much.”

Squad depth is proving an unexpected strength.

“It’s very, very positive,” says Corberan. “A few weeks ago we lost one of our important players in Matty Pearson so to have Sarr in a good moment having been out of the squad many times showing he is ready to help the team is very positive.”

Huddersfield will finish third if they outdo Nottingham Forest’s result at Hull City, fourth if not. In some ways the latter might be better as it will give an extra day’s rest and preparation for the semi-final first leg.

Either way, it looks like the Terriers will be going into it in good spirits – none more so than their Spanish right-back.