HUDDERSFIELD TOWN head coach Jan Siewert is tonight expecting his players to “show they are proud to be a Terrier” after a heart-to-heart over the weekend.
The Terriers host Wolverhampton Wanderers on the back of a truly horrific run of 13 defeats in their last 14 Premier League outings.
It has left Town with one foot in the Championship and Siewert still searching for his first point since succeeding David Wagner last month.
Huddersfield’s head coach was furious with his side’s display at Newcastle United, Yorkshire’s sole top-flight representative having been fortunate to escape with a 2-0 defeat on an afternoon when captain Tommy Smith was dismissed on 20 minutes.
“The least everyone at this club deserves is that the players give 100 per cent effort,” said Siewert ahead of tonight’s home clash with Wolves, one of just two teams to have lost to the Terriers this season.
“I was not pleased at all with our performance at Newcastle, we had a bad game.
“We have to run like hell. Until the end of the season the least we can do is run and do everything for everyone at this club who deserves it.
“I said this in the dressing room after the game, ‘I have met so many people here who give everything for this club, every single day, so the least we can do is run as quick as possible – even if we have one man less’.
“They definitely realise I was not pleased with what I saw on the pitch. I want the players to show they are proud to be a Terrier.”
Town go in search of an unlikely double against Nuno-Espirito Santo’s side, who succumbed to an Aaron Mooy double in front of the live Sky cameras on the final Sunday of November.
We have to run like hell. Until the end of the season the least we can do is run and do everything for everyone at this club who deserves it.Huddersfield head coach, Jan Siewert
The result, coming on the back of a win over Fulham and draw against West Ham United, lifted Huddersfield up to 14th in the table.
Huddersfield slipped a further place the following night when Newcastle triumphed at Burnley, but, even so, December began amid high hopes of a second successful battle against relegation.
However, defeat to Brighton in their next outing began a losing run that has only been broken by a goalless draw at Cardiff City on January 12.
“We felt good after Wolverhampton,” said Christopher Schindler, Town’s only ever-present in the league this season.
“The points (earned) in November came after another long run of not winning a game.
“It was important at that time and we felt the season was turning around. It was a good time and we went into the Brighton game, which is when it all changed again (as Wagner’s men lost 2-1 after Steve Mounie had been sent off).
“Things did go against us, but that is not why we have 11 points after 27 games. You cannot say everything went against you after a run like that.”
Siewert has promised to ring the changes following the defeat at St James’ Park. Smith is suspended, but the captain is unlikely to be the only member of the starting XI from last Saturday to drop to the bench for the visit of Wolves.
“The players here have to fight like hell to stay in the Premier League,” said the Terriers’ chief about a gap to safety that stands at 14 points with just 11 games remaining.
“We had so many supporters – more than 2,000 at Newcastle, which is incredible to me. So we have to fight. We spoke (about that) in the dressing room and I am sure there will be a reaction against Wolves. There must be another face, as I did not like that face (at Newcastle). I am confident I will get that reaction. My speech in the dressing room got into their minds.”
Adama Diakhaby is again missing with a hamstring problem, joining Smith, Isaac Mbenza (calf), Danny Williams and Abdelhamid Sabiri on the sidelines, with the latter two still building up their fitness after spells out injured.
Erik Durm, however, is expected to shake off a slight hip problem, while Alex Pritchard is available after an issue with his back a week or so ago. “The players were disappointed (after Newcastle) and I was disappointed,” added Siewert. “Everyone in the club was disappointed.
“We should have found another face and I told the players I was not happy. We need fresh legs against Wolverhampton.
“It could help (that Town beat Wolves in November). In that it stays in the mind of the players psychologically.
“I do not know if they have forgotten (how to win), but I have seen since I arrived that it is very hard for the players.”
Last six games: Huddersfield Town DLLLLL Wolverhampton Wanderers WWWDWD.
Referee: D Coote (West Yorkshire).
Last time: Huddersfield Town 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0; August 27, 2016; Championship.