Stoke City v Huddersfield Town: Andre Breitenreiter on crunch week in Terriers' Championship season - where 'little details' will become big

THROUGH no major fault of his own in truth, Andre Breitenreiter is beginning to sound like a bit of a broken record - just six games into his Huddersfield Town tenure.

No-one is more frustrated than him in that regard.

In double sessions in training during two productive working weeks in the international break, his players looked the part in their quest to fine-tune the offensive elements which will be so important in determining the Terriers’ fates in 2023-24.

Polishing technique in training is all very well. But it ultimately counts on a matchday and Town have been guilty on too many occasions this season of lacking ruthlessness in front of goal and care and conviction in their final option. It’s already a familiar Breitenreiter refrain.

BIG DAY: Huddersfield Town manager Terriers André Breitenreiter Picture: Jonathan GawthorpeBIG DAY: Huddersfield Town manager Terriers André Breitenreiter Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
BIG DAY: Huddersfield Town manager Terriers André Breitenreiter Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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The German can clearly coach, that much is clear, given the names of the clubs he has previously led.

Ultimately, he can only work with what he has got and if Town don’t sharpen up very, very soon – this week is the biggest in their fraught season by a distance – then unfortunately, they are only heading one way.

What about the hope? Well, there was a little towards the end of Friday’s 3-1 home loss to Coventry.

Substitutes Rhys Healey, Pat Jones and Ben Wiles provided the belief and sharpness that Breitenreiter was after. He needs to see it for longer and from others if Town are to have a chance.

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He said: "When you saw the training (on Thursday), the boys were extremely sharp. But training and a match-day is not the same.

"When we saw them over the last 15 minutes, they were extremely sharp and after the (Healey) goal and before the end, they believed and this is what is really important in such a situation – belief and conviction. We have created successful moments in training to transport the thoughts into the game.

"But for this, you need the lead and we have the chances for this (on Friday). To win more games, we need more quality in the final pass and finish.”

Breitenreiter’s first six games pitted Town against three sides striving for promotion in Leeds, West Brom and Coventry, among others.

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His final seven in 23-24 sees his side face three relegation rivals in ‘six-pointers’, by contrast, starting with Stoke – with Millwall following and then Birmingham later on in April. The run home also features two sides in lower mid-table in Swansea and Bristol City.

For Town to realistically have a chance of survival, points must surely be accrued this week, starting with Stoke.

He continued: "It’s a big game. But all the other six games are. It is possible (to stay up) and in most games we have seen this in the last weeks, we’ve had many good oppositions to play and we saw the quality in Coventry playing for the play-offs.

"When you give too many options to score goals, they have the quality for this. This is the difference.

"But in every game, it has been possible to win. We have to work on some little details to work hard to get the portion of luck we need.”Those ‘little details’ again.