Pressure building on Huddersfield Town to seal top-flight survival sooner rather than later

The run-in for all of the relegation candidates in the Premier League (Graphic: Graeme Bandeira)
The run-in for all of the relegation candidates in the Premier League (Graphic: Graeme Bandeira)
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It is that time of year when the calculators are in overdrive.

With the season close to its conclusion supporters, the media and players themselves will be working out the various permutations required with games quickly running out.

It is a predicament Huddersfield Town more than likely imagined would be the case after they secured the most unlikeliest of promotions to the top flight.

And especially given their run-in.

Five games lie in wait for them, and for supporters the final three in particular will have been etched on their minds ever since the fixtures were released last June.

David Wagner’s troops face successive away games at Manchester City and Chelsea before rounding off the campaign at home to Arsenal.

An unenviable triple-header against teams boasting 26 league titles (soon to be 27) between them is hardly the way Terriers’ fans wanted to end their season.

Currently, Town lie 16th in the table, four points above third-bottom Southampton, although their goal difference is the worst of all the teams around them barring Stoke City.

With games running out, all of Town’s focus is now placed on Saturday’s visit of Watford, which has justifiably been billed as ‘must-win’.

It is a view shared by erstwhile Terriers’ goalkeeper Matt Glennon, who wants Town to replicate the performance in the reverse fixture which saw them triumph 4-1 at Vicarage Road just before Christmas – one of only three away wins this term.

Former Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Matt Glennon

Former Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Matt Glennon

“Town were fantastic that day,” Glennon, speaking to The Yorkshire Post, recalls of that afternoon in Hertfordshire.

“The fans were so vocal. I thought they were going to bring out a single, they were that loud.

“It was a great atmosphere and that was definitely the best performance they’ve put in away from home this season.

“It’s all about looking forward and winning the next game in front of you.

There’ll be pressure on the players but they need to go and try to enjoy it. Hopefully, Town get a 2-0 or 3-0 win and it’s happy days.

Matt Glennon

“For me, the Watford game is the one I had down as the one they have to take three points from.

“It’s a must-win.”

With Everton visiting West Yorkshire a fortnight later, the next two home matches provide Town with an opportunity to get the job done before the latter three tussles come into focus.

Goalscoring has however remained a perennial concern ever since they reached the top flight.

With just 26 goals in 33 games, they are the joint-lowest scorers in the division alongside fellow drop rivals Swansea City and seemingly doomed West Bromwich Albion.

But Glennon saw plenty of positives from last weekend’s draw at Brighton to suggest an upturn in fortunes is within reach.

David Wagner.

David Wagner.

The Terriers showed spirit to come from behind and claim what could prove to be a crucial point come the end of the season.

“They need to do what they did last week, against Watford,” said Glennon.

“Going forward, they looked a threat down at Brighton.

“The fight, the intention to score goals and passion was all there.

“The players need to go out there and perform.

“The crowd will be electric, I’m sure.

“There’ll be pressure on the players but they need to go and try to enjoy it.

“Hopefully, Town get a 2-0 or 3-0 win and it’s happy days.

“The players know that if they get six points in the next two matches, they’re sticking in this league.”

Even if Town don’t manage to get the job done in their next two outings, Glennon says it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they could claim enough to get themselves over the line in the last three games.

“Against City, they’ll be champions by then so maybe they’ll be relaxed,” he said.

“Chelsea have shown they can be beaten, and lost at home to Bournemouth recently.

“What I wouldn’t want though is to rely on beating Chelsea or Arsenal to stay in the Premier League.

“The pressure is on but the players can use that as a positive and they are certainly capable of doing that.”

Glennon believes the congested nature at the bottom of the league makes it hard to predict exactly who will go down.

But the 39-year-old believes Town will get over the line and thinks it will be two from Stoke, Southampton and Brighton to join the Baggies in the second tier next season.

“I think Brighton are struggling,” he added.

“I look at their run-in and they’ve got Tottenham, both Manchester clubs and Liverpool – I don’t know if they will pick up enough points.

“Southampton I think will struggle too. Stoke have got a better run-in than Brighton, but you just can’t tell.

“It’s a pressure keg and it’s twitching time now for everyone.

“The pressure is on Huddersfield now to stay in the division.

“But I really want them to stay up and I think they deserve to stay up.”