As if facing a Norwich City side who have claimed 29 points from the last 33 available was not difficult enough, the Championship leaders have also had an extra day to prepare for this evening’s game.
The Canaries drew at Preston North End on Good Friday, whereas Huddersfield’s draw with Brentford was played the next day for television coverage. This evening’s 7.45pm kick-off will also be shown on Sky Sports.
In terms of preparation, it is a similar story at the weekend, when the Terriers host Rotherham United, who lost at home to relegation rivals Wycombe Wanderers yesterday.
With televised games complicating the schedule, such inequalities are inevitable, and there have been and will be other times when it works in Huddersfield’s favour. They just have to get on with it, or as Corberan puts it, “beat the fatigue”.
“When you are playing so many games in a row, you need to bring something extra from within that allows you to keep having a big impact on the games,” explained the Spanish coach. “This comes from the mentality, the emotion, from yourself, from desire, from concentration and from knowing you are playing for a very important target (in Huddersfield’s case, to stay in the Championship).
“You need to be ready to beat the fatigue and manage it mentally. It’s going to be there so we need to have the right mentality to prepare for the game in the proper way.
“Having two or three days between games is a big difference. Our next two opponents have an extra day’s recovery before the game. In these situations every single minute is, for me, like an hour of our week, every single day is like three days in a normal week.
“We need to now spend one day instead of three to recover, one day instead of three to prepare so we need to do the same work in a shorter space of time. It’s important to manage this time well.”
One thing which perhaps points to greater mental toughness is that the Terriers have become hard to beat recently, undefeated in their last five matches, albeit they have only won one of them.
Corberan was speaking before yesterday’s training session, not knowing if Pipa or Alex Vallejo would be available today, having come off with injuries at the weekend. He will only get the scan results on an injury recent signing Oumar Niasse picked up in a training game today.
“It’s part of our journey when you are playing games without a lot of preparation time,” argued Corberan.
“When you have these kind of situations you need to know who are the alternatives for the different scenarios.
“Every time you finish a game you have this type of situation, every time you have your last training session (before a game), you have this type of situation and you don’t know what is going to happen so you have to be able to adapt.
“That’s why it’s really important for everybody to be ready to face the games because these type of situations are going to appear, not only in this game but many times from now until the end of the season.”
Even with seven matches to play, Norwich’s return to the Premier League after a season away looks assured and unlike the two sides relegated alongside them, they have not changed their manager, Daniel Farke who also led them to the Championship title two years ago.
“I’m not surprised they’ve done so well because I know how their coach is working with them and the style of play under him,” said Corberan. “It’s the same style as three years ago and this season they are playing with exactly the same ideas.
“If you analyse the squad, it’s very similar. There are some new players, like for example (Oliver) Skipp, who is one of the best young English players, and they offer positive things.
“So I’m not surprised by their results or their position in the table. They’re the best team in the Championship, that’s not me saying it, the table shows that.
“It’s going to be a difficult game but I don’t think you ever get an easy game in the Championship and I’m not expecting an easy game ever. They are going to make the game difficult with the quality they have and their versatility in terms of their switching of positions.
“Farke is showing he’s one of the best coaches and the chairman (Alan Bowkett) doesn’t have to make a decision because if he’s showing he’s a brilliant coach why would the chairman be looking for a new coach?”
Last six games: Norwich City DDWWWW; Huddersfield Town DDWDDL
Referee: J Gillett (Merseyside)
Last time: Norwich City 1 Huddersfield Town 2, December 16, 2016, Championship.
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