Why Huddersfield Town manager Danny Cowley thinks a natural leader is not always the best captain

Town manager Danny Cowley: Captaincy thoughts.  Picture: Tony Johnson
Town manager Danny Cowley: Captaincy thoughts. Picture: Tony Johnson
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Christopher Schindler has impressed Huddersfield Town manager Danny Cowley with his quiet leadership.

The German centre-back replaced Tommy Smith as Terriers captain when the full-back was suspended under Cowley’s predecessor Jan Siewert last season, and has kept the armband since.

Although Cowley believes the most obvious captain is not always the best choice, he has been impressed by Schindler.

“Christopher Schindler certainly leads by example,” he commented. “He’s got some outstanding leadership quality. He’s not a shouter and screamer, he just leads really diligently and conscientiously and certainly by example. We’ve been ever so impressed with the leadership quality he’s shown.”

Cowley inherited a team in a relegation battle mid-season, and is getting to know his players.

He generally prefers to use the captaincy to draw leadership qualities out of players who might not be fully showing them.

“I don’t think I ever go for a natural leader to be the captain,” he said. “A natural leader is going to captain the team regardless so sometimes you try to bring leadership qualities out in someone you see potential in but think maybe they need a little bit of help.

“All of a sudden, instead of having one leader, you end up getting two.”

Cowley’s methods are certainly working, with four wins and three draws from his nine matches in charge of a team that had not previously won since February. They are the Championship’s form side over the last six matches but still just four points above the relegation zone.

“It’s about 50 points (they have 16) and we don’t think about anything other than (getting) 50 points,” he insisted.

“If we get 50 points then we maybe earn the right to think a bit bigger.”