Mark Hudson issues rallying cry in Huddersfield Town’s battle for survival

HAPPY DAYS:  Mark Hudson and manager David Wagner celebrate Huddersfield Town's promotion in the town centre.
HAPPY DAYS: Mark Hudson and manager David Wagner celebrate Huddersfield Town's promotion in the town centre.
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MARK HUDSON, the Huddersfield Town caretaker head coach, has pledged to send out a side dripping with intent and aggression to face champions Manchester City.

The 36-year-old has been handed the reins following the departure of head coach David Wagner earlier this week.

Town are actively searching for Wagner’s successor with Jan Siewert, currently in charge of Borussia Dortmund’s Under-23s, understood to be firmly on the club’s radar.

Sources in Germany suggest the Terriers would have to pay around £260,000 to release the 36-year-old from his duties with Dortmund.

Huddersfield have insisted all week that nothing further will be said publicly regarding the search for a new head coach until after tomorrow’s clash with Pep Guardiola’s men.

Hudson, for his part, is focusing solely on the task of tackling a City side who thrashed the Terriers 6-1 back in August.

“They are a world-class team, a world-class manager – happy birthday (for yesterday), by the way, Pep – but we just have to look forward to it,” said the 36-year-old, who has stepped up from coaching the Under-23s to take charge of the first team on an interim basis. “We have to show real intent.

“We have to be aggressive and we have to work hard for each other. Real togetherness is something I really believe in.

“It is about us and what we can do this week on the training pitch. We have to show intent and pose them as many problems as we can.

“That is not to underestimate them in any way, but there have been things I want to work on. I have been coaching for a while now and there are bits I want to put in place.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

“Without belief there is no point being in this industry. I thoroughly believe in these players and that we can pose threats to teams.”

Huddersfield host the champions having, at least, halted the nine-game losing run that had become a club record via last weekend’s goalless draw at Cardiff City.

The club’s position remains perilous, however, with eight points separating the Terriers from Cardiff in 17th place.

With the Welsh club travelling to third-bottom Newcastle United today as Southampton host Everton at St Mary’s there is every chance the gap to safety will have grown further come tomorrow’s 1.30pm kick-off at the John Smith’s Stadium.

We have to be aggressive and we have to work hard for each other. Real togetherness is something I really believe in.

Mark Hudson

This will add fuel to those who believe Sam Allardyce, when distancing himself from the vacancy earlier this week, was right to state that Huddersfield are effectively down and should start planning for next season now.

Unsurprisingly, Hudson does not agree with the former England manager.

“Sam can say what he likes, can’t he?” added the former Town captain.

“That is down to him, isn’t it? That is not something I focus on, what other people say about this club.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I know what is in this building.

“There are 16 games left and we are all fighting. We all cover every blade of grass. We are all working as hard as we can.”

Hudson would not be drawn on his own future yesterday. In fact, his repelling of various attempts to ascertain whether he wanted the Town job beyond tomorrow’s City clash was reminiscent of how he used to head opposition crosses and corners away from his own penalty area.

One topic the former defender was willing to talk about, however, was the debt he and the Terriers owe to Wagner.

“It was an emotional start to the week for everyone at the club,” said Hudson, captain under the German before moving on to the coaching staff during the summer of 2017.

“David came in on Tuesday morning to say his goodbyes. Three and a bit years is a long time in football. Relationships and bonds were built.

“His tenure means he deserves full respect from everyone. David created an identity, brought everyone close together, be it the fans, staff, people who work at the stadium. We fully respect that.

“I will still be in contact with him, picking his brains as I have a lot to learn.

“He has done a lot for me, both as a player and then when I went into coaching. I learned a lot from him.

“But change is what football is all about. We have to bring it back to Sunday and the job we have to do.”

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