Huddersfield boss David Wagner admits he has yet to determine his first-choice goalkeeper, with Jonas Lossl pushing for a recall against Cardiff.
Ben Hamer, a summer signing from Leicester, has started the Terriers’ first two matches after Lossl’s involvement in the World Cup but that has proved a thankless task.
Defeats of 3-0 and 6-1 against Chelsea and Manchester City mean the 30-year-old has picked the ball out of his own net more than any other keeper in the top flight and Lossl, who wears the number one shirt, is pushing hard.
“Now we have exactly what we wanted to have in more or less every position - competition - and this is the case with the goalkeepers as well,” said Wagner.
“This is a difference to last year. (An established goalkeeper) is usually what you like to have but for this to happen someone has to be a consistent performer on their best level, then we will have a number one. That is the same for the number one shirt, the number 10 shirt, the number two...whatever.
“Jonas came back after the off season not in the best condition or shape but worked very hard with the goalkeeping coach and fitness department to come back to the shape he needs to be at his best.”
Two defeats is never nice and you like a chance to turn it around. It is always good for your mood if you collect points early but we should not make the mistake of comparing different seasons with each other.David Wagner
Huddersfield’s start to the season comes in stark contrast to the back-to-back wins they fashioned last term, a discrepancy at least partially explained by the unkind fixture list.
Despite that, the visit of a Bluebirds side who are tipped to go straight back down has been billed as the earliest imaginable ‘relegation six-pointer’.
Wagner was quick to dismiss the clash as an all-or-nothing affair for either side.
“If you win a cup final you have a trophy, if you lose a cup final everything is over,” he said.
“We will not lift a trophy after this game, even if we win, and it isn’t over if we lose. It is an important game because it is the next one.
“Two defeats is never nice and you like a chance to turn it around. It is always good for your mood if you collect points early but we should not make the mistake of comparing different seasons with each other.”
The Terriers are at full strength this weekend, having been denied the services of injured duo Mathias Jorgensen and Jonathan Hogg at the Etihad Stadium, while playmaker Aaron Mooy was attending the birth of his second child.
All three can expect to return, but Wagner indicated his entire squad can expect to see action soon.
“I have 23 players available. We have three games in the week before the international break and I’m pretty sure I will use all of them,” he said,.
“Injury-wise we are in a perfect position.”