Shambolic Huddersfield Town are everywhere and nowhere as clock ticks down on Championship status - final word on Terriers shocking loss to Swansea City

IN the dying embers of a Saturday afternoon in April, there was a chill in the air.

Andre Breitenreiter had his overcoat on and the atmosphere was frosty as Kevin Nagle’s Huddersfield Town were thoroughly exposed.

It was Town’s penultimate home game of a distressing campaign and a revealing one as it was last season at a similarly emotionally-charged stadium.

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Then, Town beat Sheffield United and everyone was together as one after the hosts completed the most heroic of safety missions.

Huddersfield Town's Josh Koroma rues missing a great opportunity, firing over the bar against Swansea City. Picture: Tony Johnson.Huddersfield Town's Josh Koroma rues missing a great opportunity, firing over the bar against Swansea City. Picture: Tony Johnson.
Huddersfield Town's Josh Koroma rues missing a great opportunity, firing over the bar against Swansea City. Picture: Tony Johnson.

It ended in Neil Warnock being given a guard of honour by his players amid chants of ‘one more year’ from his adoring public.

How times have changed.

The Terriers nation got their wish for another year, but Warnock’s relationship with the powers-that-be soured.

He left in September and the die was cast.

Where there was harmony, there is now discord. Instead of bouquets, there were boos at the weekend and damning chants of ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ at the end after a disgraceful final quarter.

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Town conceded four unanswered goals and went to pieces. They will be relegated unless something drastically changes.

Quite how Huddersfield recover from the awful events of Saturday as the clock ticks down on their season is hard to comprehend right now with the pain still being raw. They looked broken and heading only one way in truth.

Is there any hope? Incredibly, there’s an inkling. What Town have in their favour is next Saturday. The one thing propping them up.

A ‘cup final’ against the team two points above them in Birmingham, whose failure to beat relegated Rotherham was the one crumb from a desperate day.

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Convincing enough fans that there is still life left in the patient will take some doing and is another matter entirely, judging by the weekend’s events.

Even if supporters revive themselves, the psychological state of the players, those at the heart of the matter, is surely in question.

They took a beating through no fault of their own following an atrocious refereeing decision in Bristol seven days earlier.

Events also unravelled late on in the previous game at Preston and then there were the events of Saturday where Swansea gorged on a quartet of goals as Town totally capitulated.

It begs the question: How much more can Huddersfield take?

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It is not just the players’ mental state that is the concern.

Their ability to make good decisions and manage the game intelligently is the biggest thing holding them back.

Town were everywhere and nowhere on Saturday with too many players doing their own thing and that does not speak of a side who will survive.

It was personified by Delano Burgzorg.

A few minutes before the hour mark with the side still goalless, he showed the good of his game in anticipating a short backpass and beating the onrushing Carl Rushworth.

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The ball broke and with Josh Koroma and Jack Rudoni crying out for a pass to convert, the Dutchman reprehensibly went for glory when Rushworth was stranded.

Burgzorg was part of a triple change soon after and jeered off. Things got even more gruesome.

The substitutions that reaped a harvest came from Swansea. They have an identity that Huddersfield do not possess. With Town, you never know what you are going to get.

Jamal Lowe started the madness on 73 minutes, troubling Matty Pearson before drilling home a clinical low drive.

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Pearson did not cover himself in glory just over ten minutes later. But not before Town went agonisingly close to levelling when Danny Ward’s drive smacked against the inside of the post.

The second goal arrived when Rushworth booted the ball upfield to find Josh Tymon in an ocean of space. He found the lively Ronald for an easy tap-in.

It got worse, much worse as Town – who lost Tom Lees to injury – unravelled. Jerry Yates added a third at the far post.

A sublime curler from Liam Walsh, another late substitute, made it embarrassing.

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Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Helik, Lees (Jackson 88), Spencer (Headley 60), Kasumu, Matos (Healey 61); Thomas, Rudoni, Koroma, Burgzorg (Ward 60). Unused substitutes: Maxwell, Radulovic, Edwards, Turton, Wiles.

Swansea City: Rushworth; Key, Cabango, Darling, Tymon; Fulton (Walsh 65), Grimes; Ronald (Abdulai 87), Cooper (Lowe 65), Paterson (Patino 73); Cullen (Yates 65). Unused substitutes: Fisher, Kukharevych, Wood, Humphreys.

Referee: J Busby (Leics).