Huddersfield Town v Fulham: Carlos Corberan hoping to make life awkward for Cottagers on Championship return

FOR teams relegated from the Premier League, reacquainting themselves with the second tier is sometimes far from straightforward.

Carlos Corberan: Town boss hoping to catch Fulham a little under-cooked. (Picture: PA)

It is something that Huddersfield Town know full well after failing to win in nine matches at the start of 2019-20 following their demotion from the top-flight at the end of the previous season.

No-one will be expecting today’s opponents Fulham to toil so badly, but early wobbles are common for Championship returnees as the Cottagers can also vouch for.

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Following their previous relegation from the top-flight, Fulham lost their opening game in 19-20 to a pumped-up Barnsley side at Oakwell and they were pegged back last week in a 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough at Craven Cottage.

Derby County's Colin Kazim-Richards (left) and Huddersfield Town's Matthew Pearson battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship opener last week (Picture: PA)

On whether facing a relegated side early in the season is not necessarily a bad thing, head coach Carlos Corberan commented: “It (Fulham) is a team who have not worked many times together, this is true.

“They now have a new coach and some new players, but the majority were in the first team last year and have played together.

“I think from now until the end of the market that they can make more signings.

“But in my analysis of the game, they are still a strong squad with a lot of possibilities for the level they have.

“I also know they have a coach who is going to improve the team, week by week.

“I am sure they are going to be stronger than previous weeks, but that is something that normally happens in football.

“We need to be concentrated in our opportunities and do our best job in defence and attack. Because to take something positive, we will have to be at our highest level – as players and as a team.”

In their first home league game of last term, Town also faced a relegated side and put on a spirited performance against Norwich before a late mistake gifted the visitors victory.

The challenge for the Terriers is to keep the mistakes to a minimum and make an impact at the other end of the pitch – and give their supporters something to feed off.

Renowned for their raucous support during the David Wagner years in particular and the atmosphere they regularly created at the John Smith’s Stadium, Town will not be short in the backing stakes today as supporters make their long-awaited return after watching games remotely for the best part of 18 months.

In that regard, successive home games with Fulham and Preston offer plenty.

Corberan, hoping to be in attendance at the end of his isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 last week, added: “This is exactly what we want and what every team wants.

“But we are cool and we wait for our first opponent to face and the first game is Fulham and we know how demanding it is going to be.

“We know how much concentration we need and must play with a lot of spirit, courage and not be afraid.”