Huddersfield Town boss Carlos Corberan is insistent that he’s starting to see the best of Fraizer Campbell again following the striker’s lay-off over pre-season.
Campbell’s preparations for the new season were thrown into chaos after he tested positive for Covid. He missed the League Cup tie with Sheffield Wednesday, yet was rushed back due to a fresh batch of cases within the camp ahead of the Championship opener against Derby County.
However, it’s taken time for Campbell to get up to speed. He played 26 minutes at Derby, 45 against Fulham and Preston North End, then another half-hour against Sheffield United.
Corberan, though, handed Campbell his first start of the season in the defeat to Everton on Tuesday. The 33-year-old returned a solid performance against Premier League opposition, with the head coach now starting to see his best levels.
Discussing that performance in yesterday’s press conference, Corberan said: “Campbell is one of the best strikers in the team and an important player. I know the energy that Campbell can bring in defensive moments and I know the energy that he can bring to fight for every ball.
“He’s a player that needs to be very well physically to impact better on the team. Right now he is making this process. I’m watching Campbell in a better physical condition to make the impact we want from him and the impact he has shown he can have for us.”
Campbell made 40 appearances last season, scoring seven goals and registering three assists. He was hardly prolific, but at the time Josh Koroma was, the former Hull City favourite was in the side and playing as Corberan’s focal point.
To the naked eye, Huddersfield’s attack functions better with Campbell holding it together. He works hard, runs channels and holds the ball up. There’s not the goal threat some fans want, but he brings the best out of Koroma, who has the ability to cruise into double figures if chances allow that.
Asked on whether or not Campbell glues his attack together, Corberan responded: “Sometimes this is relative but it depends on the moment of the game more than the skills of a player.
“Against Sheffield United, Campbell arrived into a game that was more open, with more transitions. That allows you to have one player with skills to go in behind into space and he’s going to impact the team.
“Something that is also true is that every time Campbell is on the pitch, you feel that Campbell is on the pitch. This is something very important within a player when you can feel the contribution of a player.
“That’s sometimes easier when you play less minutes. I think it’s always important that every player, when you put them on the pitch, shows you why they are there.”