Huddersfield v Ipswich: Fitness work paying off for Town loanee Manu

AFTER spending the best part of four weeks acclimatising to the high-tempo approach favoured by Huddersfield Town head coach David Wagner, loanee Elvis Manu has vowed: 'I am ready to rock.'
Huddersfield Town head coach David Wagner (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).Huddersfield Town head coach David Wagner (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
Huddersfield Town head coach David Wagner (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).

The 22-year-old Dutch-born wideman joined from Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day of the winter transfer window.

Manu, who had only joined the Seagulls during the summer, had found opportunities hard to come by on the south coast so arrived lacking match fitness.

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That would have been bad enough at most clubs but Huddersfield’s gegenpressing system requiring plenty of lung-busting runs meant Manu had ground to catch up.

However, after four appearances from the bench and two particularly impressive interventions in the most recent of those outings, Manu feels ready for a first start.

“The club has been extremely good to me,” said Manu. “From the moment I came here, the manager said it would take me a few weeks to get fit.

“In the beginning, it was hard for me because of the new style. It was different to what I was used to.

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“I hadn’t been playing a lot so my fitness was a little bit down. The way we play involves a lot of pressure and I had to adapt to that. But I am now getting there. This is a great opportunity for me. I feel I am ready to rock.”

Manu’s pace and power have been a big feature of a career that included 32 league appearances for Feyenoord along with a couple of loan spells in his native Holland.

Against MK Dons, however, it was his defensive application that shone through as Town battled manfully to claim a point despite playing most of the second half with 10 men following the dismissal of Philip Billing.

“I didn’t know myself that I could defend like that,” laughed Manu when asked about Tuesday night. “We were down to 10 men after Phil got the red card and it was hard, especially as we were 1-0 down.

“We had to defend a lot but it was worth it because we got the result. It is a new side to me but something I enjoyed.”