Inside Track: Huddersfield Town

By SFC Media Fri 25 Aug Huddersfield v Saints
Photo by Getty Images

Ahead of Southampton's trip to Huddersfield Town, we got the inside track on the Terriers from Huddersfield Examiner reporter Rory Benson...

Can you sum up the start of the season and the mood at Huddersfield?

It's been an incredible start to the season, with Town earning two Premier League wins and advancing to the third round of the Carabao Cup. The Terriers have proven to the other Premier League sides that they are here to compete, not just to take part. The atmosphere created by the club's success stretches beyond football. The town has been painted blue and white and the excitement is palpable across West Yorkshire. If the team can keep churning out results, the mood will continue to intensify and that will make the John Smith's Stadium a hard place to visit.

How has the team been playing – what is their style like?

The team has performed well in their first two Premier League matches, scoring four goals and conceding none. However, head coach David Wagner knows Southampton will be their hardest test so far. The Terriers have beaten a Crystal Palace side in transition under Frank de Boer and a Newcastle team in crisis, so the match against Saints will likely give us a better reading of how the team is playing. Town like to press high up the pitch and force mistakes from the opposition, similar to Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool. Wagner stresses the importance of speed in the transition and this season the addition of Steve Mounie also gives Town an aerial threat.

Has there been any notable changes from last season?

Town have splashed the Premier League cash in the transfer window, bringing in 11 players and smashing their transfer record three times. The Terriers snapped up some English league players such as Tom Ince, Aaron Mooy, Kasey Palmer, Scott Malone and Danny Williams, but also brought in a range of foreign players including the impressive trio of Jonas Lossl, Steve Mounie and Mathias 'Zanka' Jorgensen. The identity of the team has stayed the same however, with the new players slotting into the existing system well. Off the pitch, the John Smith's Stadium has been updated to meet Premier League standards, while a new segregation system has been put in place to maximise seating for home and away fans.

Who have been the standout performers so far?

Steve Mounie's performance against Crystal Palace was exceptional, with the Benin international netting a brace on his English football debut. Aaron Mooy has been metronomic in the midfield, scoring the winner at Newcastle, while Philip Billing has also impressed in the heart of the pitch. At the back, Christopher Schindler has continued his good form from last season, while new boy Jonas Lossl has pulled off some remarkable saves to make it two clean sheets from two for Town.

What is the atmosphere like at the John Smith’s Stadium?

It's been incredible over the last two seasons. David Wagner has created a bond between the club and the fans like no other I've seen before. The south stand will be packed out with the most vocal support - right next to the away fans - with the Town faithful putting on displays and tifos ahead of the matches. The pride the fans have in this team is huge and that is reflected in the noise they have created since the start of last season. And they have upped their game to Premier League level for the club's first top-flight season in 45 years.

Who do you think will be the key men for Huddersfield this weekend?

Chris Lowe and Tommy Smith will be key. The full-backs performed admirably last season and have started the Premier League campaign in the same manner. But with Southampton's quality in the wide areas, the weekend match could prove a different prospect for the pair. However, both like to get forward and , if they can shut out the Saints wingers, they could cause a few problems themselves. Steve Mounie will also be key to Town. The 22-year-old has pace and power and is a threat in the air and will be key to Town going forward. Last season the Terriers struggled to put the ball in the net at times, but fans will hope the introduction of Mounie will put that right in the top tier.

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