Huddersfield Town are on the cusp of confirming their place in the Championship’s play-off places following Monday’s 2-0 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
Carlos Corberan has overseen a really impressive Easter weekend, with Huddersfield building on their 2-2 draw with Queens Park Rangers by dismantling Boro on Teesside.
Quiz: What club do these 25 players from the Huddersfield Town 2016/17 squad play for now?
Jordan Rhodes tormented his former club with a goal and an assist, first teeing up Naby Sarr’s header before dispatching a lethal left-footed finish beyond Luke Daniels after a flowing counter.
It’s another tough week for Huddersfield, with a quick turnaround into Friday’s Yorkshire derby with Barnsley.
Nevertheless, there’s still time to reflect on what was a memorable win over Middlesbrough:
Rhodes’ best performance since returning
Danny Ward has expertly led the line for Huddersfield this season, scoring 13 goals. However, a hamstring injury left Town’s top goalscorer sidelined on Easter Monday.
The plan was always for Rhodes to lead the line at the Riverside, even before Ward’s injury setback, with the 32-year-old grasping his opportunity.
There was a real willingness to meet Sorba Thomas’ free-kick on 41 minutes, keeping it alive and finding an unmarked Sarr, who headed Huddersfield into a lead.
Rhodes, then, showed composure to first hold his run as Lewis O’Brien broke, before firing in a first-time left-footed shot on the hour, doubling that lead with a killer finish.
“We watched one of Jordan Rhodes’ best performances today,” Corberan enthused afterwards.
As we await the true severity of Ward’s injury, Rhodes might just be ready to step up given this form.
Sarr importance underlined again
A potentially season-ending injury for Matty Pearson has thrust Sarr back into contention, whilst Levi Colwill’s absence yesterday offered the 28-year-old a starting opportunity.
Sarr repaid Corberan’s faith with a solid display at the back and another clean sheet, whilst he also had an impact in the Boro box.
On 41 minutes, he found space on the edge of the six yard box to convert Rhodes’ cushioned header, whilst moments before that Daniels had turned another header of his over the crossbar.
Again, Sarr showed the impact he can have at both end of the pitch.
With Pearson out and a question mark over Colwill’s hip problem, Sarr could have a hugely important role to play in the coming weeks.
Like Rhodes, on the evidence of yesterday, he’s up for that challenge.
Rotation was always likely to be on Corberan’s mind over Easter, but we’ve got to point out that the two aforementioned players, Rhodes and Sarr, are only in the team because of injuries.
Pearson (knee), Colwill (hip) and Ward (hamstring) were all absent yesterday. Pearson’s setback could spell the end for his season, whilst Colwill and Ward’s immediate involvement is something of a doubt.
Then, yesterday, we saw Thomas removed at half-time as a precaution. He was seen celebrating at full-time with his knee in a brace and supported by crutches, suggesting that his issue was complicated.
Corberan will provide an update later this week heading into the Barnsley clash, but Thomas’ absence is a worry given the creative burden he carries in this team.
As things stand, two of Corberan’s three go-to centre-backs are sidelined, along with his top goalscorer and assist king.
Hardly ideal given Huddersfield are bound for the play-offs.