Huddersfield Town v Plymouth Argyle – FA Cup provides respite for Terriers’ players after hectic schedule

Huddersfield Town are set to field a much-changed side for today’s third-round FA Cup meeting with Plymouth Argyle but that is not representative of how Carlos Corberan feels about the competition.

ALL CHANGE: Huddersfield Town head coach Carlos Corberán and, right, assistant, Jorge Alarcón. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The Terriers head coach has relied heavily on the same players during Town’s festive fixtures and managing minutes effectively is now high on Corberan’s list of priorities.

It has been a challenging season for many clubs on the injury front, with muscle injuries increasing due to the hectic fixture schedule and lack of pre-season. Corberan is keen to protect his players and although he could make up to 11 changes for the contest, he is still eager to be in the hat for the next round.

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“We have to make changes, it is something necessary I have to do as coach,” insisted Corberan, with some players set to be rested on the advice of his medical staff.

“I respect this competition. For me, it is a competition that is part of the English footballing tradition.

“It is a nice competition that puts everyone at the same level but at the same time I need to be conscious of the squad we have right now.

“Our players have played a lot in recent weeks and we have a few injuries.

“So, I need to balance these things and that is why we will be playing with a team who is totally different to the one who has been playing the league games. It is not because I don’t want to continue in the competition, it is because of the need we have right now.”

INCOMING: Winger Rolando Aarons is expected to play some part off the bench for Huddersfield Town in today's FA Cup clash with Plymouth. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA

Rolando Aarons joined the Terriers from Newcastle United this week after Huddersfield initially failed to secure a move for the forward in the summer.

Corberan is glad to finally have the winger on board but admits that today’s fixture has come too soon for him to earn a starting place.

“On one side of it, it is too soon,” admitted Corberan.

“However, on the other side it is necessary to start involving him.

“As soon as we start adapting him to the team, the faster he goes through this process and the better it is for him and the team.He is not going to start tomorrow but he will be available to play some minutes.”

Corberan feels the former Sheffield Wednesday loanee can be effective in varying positions but believes the 25-year-old is at his best on the left wing.

He continued: “He has a lot of potential and can give us a lot of versatility.

“One of the challenges we have is that he has played a long time without any competitive minutes.

“He was someone we looked at in the summer. It is a positive moment to get him.

“What we need to do is work with the player to make it a positive addition.

“It was a good opportunity for all the parties. In the last loan he had in Scotland, he played as a right winger but I feel he can offer more from the left.”

The Terriers have exited the FA Cup at the third-round stage in the last two seasons and Corberan is not expecting to breeze past Plymouth, who sit in the bottom half of League One. The Terriers chief is grateful the fixture congestion is starting to ease, with Huddersfield required to fulfill six games in January compared to eight in December.

He added: “To have the option to prepare more for games is positive.

“To have more time to recover between games increases the quality of the football, not just for us but in general.

“You have more time to rest and prepare better, it allows the quality of the football, the pitches and everything else to increase.”

Huddersfield will be without Danny Ward and Adama Diakhaby through injury while Isaac Mbenza – who has tested negative for Covid-19 – is self-isolating. Town have reported zero positive Covid-19 cases following this week’s testing.

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