With five matches of 2019-20 to go, the Terriers were 20th on 46 points. They go into today’s match at Nottingham Forest again 20th, two points worse off.
Even so, Jonathan Hogg can see progress and with the band starting to come back together from earlier in the season, he is optimistic the final five games can be more positive than the last five, which yielded just three points.
“We did ourselves credit against Bournemouth but the two before that (a 0-0 draw with Rotherham United and a 7-0 defeat at Norwich City) weren’t good enough,” he admits. “We showed signs against Bournemouth of getting on the right track.
“Norwich, Bournemouth and Brentford are all top, top teams in this division and it’s never going to be easy playing them in the space of four games. The next five are all definitely winnable.”
Huddersfield have tried to go in a different direction this season – more expansive under coach Carlos Corberan with greater emphasis on the academy.
“I think we have made progress,” argues Hogg. “Last season some of the loans were big players like (Emile) Smith-Rowe (now a leading Arsenal first-teamer) and (Trevoh) Chalobah. We lost Karlan (Grant) and Steve (Mounie) who did great things for us and scored important goals.
“This season we’ve brought maybe five players through the academy. Some have taken a massive step – Aaron Rowe and (Rarmani Edmonds-Green in particular. They have been chucked in when times have been hard and it will see them in good stead.”
More experienced players have grown too, says the 32-year-old.
“When Carlos first came in it was brand new but now he’s putting sessions on we’ve already done and we’re handling it a lot easier,” he says. “It was probably the most changes I’ve seen a manager make with the players in and out, the training, style of play, formations. We’ll certainly see all the lads benefit.”
Injuries played a big part in Town’s form dropping off a cliff after Christmas but Rolando Aarons came off the bench against Bournemouth, today Josh Koroma is involved for the first time since injuring his hamstring in December, and Harry Toffolo and Carel Eiting are back in training.
“It’s great when you see the squad when we were doing so well at the start of the season getting back together,” says Hogg. “We go into the last five games thinking we can win all five.”
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