Huddersfield Town have emerged as something of a surprise package in the Championship this season with them heading into the international break in 7th place.
The Terriers were expected to be closer towards the bottom end of the league than the play-offs this season in Carlos Corberan’s second campaign in charge of the club.
That was despite the Terriers making strides to improve their squad significantly over the summer transfer window with a number of sensible additions.
One of those new signings was defender Matty Pearson, who arrived at Huddersfield on a free transfer following his departure from Luton Town at the end of his deal at Kenilworth Road.
The 28-year-old had been a crucial part of Luton’s squad in the Championship last season and he played a major role in helping the Hatters secure a top half finish.
Pearson managed to help Nathan Jones’ side record 12 clean sheets and also averaged 1.8 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 3.1 clearances per game to underline his defensive qualities.
It, therefore, seemed like Huddersfield were making a very wise signing that would have the potential to enhance the options they have available to them in defence. That comes after the Terriers shipped 71 goals last term.
So with Pearson having had a few months now to bed into life at Huddersfield, we take a look at how things have gone so far, what issues he faces and what’s next for the defender…
How’s it gone so far?
It has been a very encouraging start to life at Huddersfield for Pearson all told.
The defender as expected has swiftly established himself as a crucial member of Corberan’s strongest starting line-up and he has been adding some extra solidity to their defence.
Pearson has managed to start ten of Huddersfield’s opening 11 Championship matches. He has played a vital part in helping them secure five wins in that period to help them claim 17 points from a possible 33 available.
The defender has even emerged as a major goalscoring threat for Huddersfield and is their joint-top scorer alongside Danny Ward with three goals in his ten appearances in the league.
The first goal that Pearson scored for Huddersfield in the league came against Fulham in the 5-1 defeat back in August. However, his other two efforts came in commanding wins for the Terriers against Reading and away at Blackpool.
As well as being a threat in the box for Huddersfield, Pearson has also managed to average one tackle, 1.8 interceptions and 2.9 clearances per game. While he has also won an average of 4.5 duels per match so far this term in the Championship.
That represents a very solid start to life at Huddersfield for Pearson and he will be aiming to maintain his form after the international break.
Quiz: Have Huddersfield Town ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
What issues does he face?
The main issue that Pearson faces at Huddersfield is more a collective one for the entire side.
The Terriers even with the defender’s introduction to the defence are struggling to record clean sheets in the Championship as they did last term under Corberan.
Huddersfield did manage to record a clean sheet against Pearson’s former club Luton Town on Saturday in a game where they had to dig in and show some resilience at times to secure a point.
However, that was just the third clean sheet that the Terriers have recorded with Pearson as part of their defence so far this season in the Championship.
While despite their strong start to the campaign, Huddersfield have still conceded 14 goals in their opening 11 fixtures.
That is something that Pearson and the Terriers are going to have to keep working hard on over the coming weeks, but their style of play is always likely to leave them more vulnerable than other sides.
The immediate aim for Pearson will be to try and recover over the international break and ensure that he is ready to go again for the Terriers in what will be a crucial period in the campaign when it gets back underway.
Pearson expressed his delight that Huddersfield were able to record a much-needed clean sheet last time out against Luton, and the 28-year-old will be aiming to help the Terriers keep that solidity moving forwards into their coming games.
That could prove to be vital in maintaining what has been an excellent start to the campaign for Huddersfield.
The defender has undoubtedly been a strong addition to Corberan’s squad and he now just needs to try and maintain his performance and fitness levels for the Terriers.