Danny and Nicky Cowley will be looking to give Huddersfield a period of stability as a rocky couple of seasons could see them end up back in Sky Bet League One.
To say that the last three years have been turbulent for Huddersfield Town and their supporters would be an understatement. They have gone from winning the Sky Bet Championship play-off final on penalties all the way through to survival in the Premier League, only to come crashing back down to Earth with back-to-back difficult seasons.
When Jan Siewert lost his job back in August following a run of one win in seven months and with Huddersfield’s prospects looking bleak, the board turned to the promising and upcoming Cowley brothers to turn their season around. The duo had impressed with Lincoln City with two title wins and a Checkatrade Trophy triumph in three years which saw their stock rise in the game.
Whilst the Cowley’s acclimatised to the Sky Bet Championship, the side appeared to be getting better with the players learning about the new way that the manager wanted them to play, a model that they had built previous successes on.
But with the Terriers looming back towards the bottom three, we take a look at three factors that will define their season in the final 10 games…
Beating teams around them
For Huddersfield to stand any chance of putting some clear daylight between themselves and the relegation zone, it is imperative for them to pick up wins against sides involved in the relegation scrap. With Wigan, Reading and Luton all to be played between now and May, three wins against those sides would surely see the Terriers safe.
Cowley’s men also face a number of tricky tests against sides pushing for a spot in the Premier League next season with Preston North End and West Brom to visit the John Smith’s Stadium before the season is done. Should Huddersfield pick up points against teams towards the bottom of the table, these kinds of games will allow Cowley to use his beloved underdog approach.
Winter window signings gelling
Joining a new football club is never easy at the best of times but signing for a new club halfway through a campaign can cause many difficulties. It takes time for a new signing to build relationships with their new teammates as the squad gets to know the strengths and weaknesses of the new acquisitions. Cowley made no fewer than six new signings during his first window in charge of the Terriers.
In recent weeks, these signings appear to have hit the ground running with both Richard Stearman and Harry Toffolo slotting straight into the defence whereas Arsenal loanee Emile Smith Rowe has occupied the role playing just behind talisman Karlan Grant. Both Toffolo and Smith Rowe have impacted with goals and assists since their arrival in West Yorkshire which has given Cowley a much-needed boost at the top end of the pitch. Stearman has come in with his wealth of experience at this level and made a huge impact in the back line with this being illustrated in Town’s comprehensive 4-0 win over Charlton.
Improving on the road
The Huddersfield boss will be the first person to admit that they’ve have struggled on the road so far this campaign which is an area they will need to improve in if they are to remain a Sky Bet Championship club next season. The Terriers have won just once on the road so far in 2020 with a crucial win over relegation threatened Hull City.
With six of Huddersfield’s final 10 games being away from home, it is crucial that they learn how to pick up more points on their travels. Starting with a short trip to West-Yorkshire rivals Leeds United on Saturday who have shown in recent weeks that Elland Road can be a happy hunting ground for visiting sides. Cowley’s men will need to take inspiration from Wigan Athletic who completed an unlikely double picking up wins at both Elland Road and The Hawthorns.
Should Huddersfield start picking up points away from home in the coming weeks they should retain their Sky Bet Championship status before the season ends in May.