Huddersfield Town’s Carlos Corberan relishing challenge of Championship

STARTS to seasons have done Huddersfield Town no favours whatsoever in recent times.

Leeds United's Pablo Hernandez takes on Huddersfield Town's Fraizer Campbell. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Back in 2018-19, it took the Terriers until the 11th league game of that particular campaign to secure their first win and last term was similarly irksome, with the club’s first three points of 2019-20 only arriving at the 10th time of asking.

Inspection of the club’s early Championship fixtures in the forthcoming season – on paper at least – also has its hazards, with Town starting out with a home game against a relegated Norwich City side who have retained much of last season’s squad and are fancied to be among the movers and shakers in the second tier.

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Next up is a trip to a Brentford side who were within one victory of reaching the top-flight last season, with the Terriers providing the opposition for the Bees’ first home league fixture at their new Brentford Community Stadium home on September 19.

Before the end of October, the season’s first full month, Town will have also faced Swansea, Nottingham Forest and Preston.

But if you think that head coach Carlos Corberan would feel a touch of trepidation, you would be wholly wrong.

Inspired by the prospect of striking out on his own after a two-year apprenticeship at Leeds United with something akin to a ‘grandmaster’ in Marcelo Bielsa, Corberan is someone who has also been quickly beguiled by the Championship, a division which provides searching examinations against all types of opposition from top to bottom by the week.

It is a division which Spanish-born Corberan has quickly learned to respect and love.

While he does not yet know it like the back of his hand, he has plenty of background knowledge, while undertaking extensive research into the Huddersfield squad he was taking on ahead of officially being appointed.

He said: “It is not easy for any coach. But this is one of the nicer things that England has.

“When you arrive in the Championship, you cannot think that any team is going to be easy. We are going to respect all the teams a lot and that is why we are here –we like the challenges.

“We are here because we like this competition. For me, the Championship is an amazing competition and I had the opportunity to spend two years as an assistant and living every game (at Leeds).

“Every game is going to be hard and a challenge and opportunity to show what we are able to do on the pitch.

“When I was working in Leeds, I tried to follow every team in the Championship and analyse everything and Huddersfield was one of those teams. It allows me to know even more things and details about the club.”

Specifically on his ‘homework’ on Town before heading to the club, he added: “Always before we start to work with the players, we must work before – knowing the squad you have. The most important step for me is to know the players before you start working with them and know which direction you can go with them.

“We will be ready for the demands of the competition and the demands of our ideas we want to show and do. We will put our minds in the right way to face every challenge in every game.”

Pre-season is already proving a challenge, with key midfielder Lewis O’Brien to miss the start of the season and Jonathan Hogg and Ryan Schofield having also picked up injuries in pre-season.

The latter will be out for a couple of months following thumb surgery, which has heightened the need for the club to add to their senior goalkeeping options before the start of the season.

Terence Kongolo and Tommy Elphick also remain sidelined, while Fraizer Campbell has missed the start of pre-season due to an Achilles issue.

Corberan added: “We will analyse the situation now we know he (Schofield) is going to need surgery and we will start to work on what we need as a solution. We will analyse the opportunities.

“We are hoping that Campbell can add to the squad in the next two or three weeks and start to work with the team.”