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29 December 2023 Venue John Smith's Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews


28 December 2023

An in-depth look at Town's next Sky Bet Championship opponent.

- Huddersfield Town vs Middlesbrough
- Friday 29 December 2023, 7.45pm kick-off
- Full preview of what to expect from Boro

Our final game of 2023 takes place on Friday when we welcome Middlesbrough to the John Smith’s Stadium.

Boro, led by former Manchester United and Spurs midfielder Michael Carrick, will arrive in West Yorkshire right in the middle of the long pack of teams that are vying for the Championship Play-Off positions.

However, Darren Moore’s Town side will be aiming to capitalise on the momentum of the big 3-0 Boxing Day win over another of those sides, Blackburn Rovers.


Middlesbrough will arrive at the John Smith’s Stadium placed 14th in the Sky Bet Championship table just over the halfway stage, with 33 points from their opening 24 games. That is eight points more than Town.

December has been a very up-and-down month for Friday’s opposition. They started the month with three straight defeats to Leeds United, Ipswich Town and Hull City, but turned that around with three successive victories over Swansea City, Port Vale in the Carabao Cup and West Bromwich Albion.

Sadly for them, that momentum stalled slightly on Boxing Day with defeat at Rotherham United.

That form reflects their season so far. In contrast to Town, who have the most draws in the Championship, Boro have only drawn three of their 24 games so far this term.


Michael Carrick 16_9.jpg

Now 42 years old, Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick is earning a real reputation as a manager to follow in the footsteps of his impressive playing career.

Having come through their Academy to play over 150 games as a midfielder at West Ham United, Carrick spent two years at Tottenham Hotspur before seeing out his career through a long spell at Manchester United.

He earned 34 caps for England to add to his five Premier League titles, a Champions League, a Europa League, an FA Cup win, and an Intertoto Cup win during a star-studded playing career.

Upon retirement he was appointed to Jose Mourinho’s coaching team at Old Trafford and was eventually named caretaker manager when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer departed in November 2021.

His first permanent job followed when he was appointed Boro boss in October 2022, and he has done an excellent job ever since. In his first season he guided his team from the relegation zone to the Play-Offs, meeting defeat to Coventry City in the semi-finals, and this year they are within striking distance of the Play-Offs against whilst making the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup too.


Boro were defeated at Rotherham United on Boxing Day in a result that belies many of the statistics underpinning the game.

Carrick’s men dominated the game but couldn’t score and were punished when Cohen Bramall’s cross went straight in during the 72nd minute.

Boro had enjoyed 71% possession and had 19 shots to Rotherham’s three but came away from South Yorkshire with nothing.

Previous Starting XI (4-2-3-1):
Tom Glover; Anfernee Dijksteel, Dael Fry, Matt Clarke, Alex Bangura; Jonny Howson (c), Daniel Barlaser; Isaiah Jones, Morgan Rogers, Sam Greenwood; Samuel Silvera


Carrick has consistently deployed Boro in a 4-2-3-1 formation but has recently had to shuffle his personnel due to an injury to joint top scorer Emmanuel Latte Lath. Without a recognised, out and out striker to call upon, that has seen Australian Samuel Silvera move from his usual position out wide to lead the line. After the defeat at Rotherham on Boxing Day, Carrick indicated to the press that he doesn’t expect the forward back in time for our game on Friday.

Behind the forward, Boro have a solid look to them, with centre backs Matt Clarke and Dael Fry dominant in the air alongside two expressive full backs in Anfernee Dijksteel and Alex Bangura.

Jonny Howson still skippers the side from central midfield alongside Daniel Barlaser, who was arguably their best player in South Yorkshire on the 26th.

They also have options in the three positions behind the striker, with Morgan Rogers enjoying a great season, Isaiah Jones offering blistering pace and the likes of former Town man Matt Crooks ready to offer a different option with his physicality.


Dael Fry

Dael Fry 16_9.jpg

Now 26 years old, centre back Fry has played over 200 games for Boro having progressed through the Club’s Academy to turn professional.

A former England Under-21 international, he has played the most Sky Bet Championship minutes for Boro so far this season under Michael Carrick.

Fry is strong in the aerial duel, as you’d expect from a Championship centre half, but is also a good passer of the football.

Daniel Barlaser

Daniel Barlaser 16_9.jpg

Central midfielder Barlaser joined Middlesbrough in the January 2023 transfer window from Rotherham United, where he had become one of the team’s standout players.

A former Newcastle United junior, he initially joined Rotherham on loan in the 2019/20 season in a move that became permanent. He was a star of the Millers side that gained promotion to the Championship in 2022.

One of Boro’s set piece takers, he has registered two assists so far this season and is one of the better passers in the division.

Sam Greenwood

Sam Greenwood 16_9.jpg

Greenwood joined Boro on loan from fellow Sky Bet Championship side Leeds United for the season in the summer and has done well for his new team so far, scoring five league goals to go alongside two assists.

Playing off the left side, he adds a real goal threat when drifting infield, and is also a very adept free kick taker.

The 21-year-old, who has been capped by England to U21 level, started his career in the Sunderland and Arsenal academies before joining Leeds.


Town boss Darren Moore will give updated team news when he speaks to the media at the Millers Oils High Performance Complex at our pre-match press conference at 1.30pm on Thursday 28 December 2023.

Supporters will be able to watch the conference live on HTTV to hear the latest team news as it’s shared.


Town will wear the famous blue and white stripes at the John Smith’s Stadium on Friday night, of course!

CLICK HERE to get your replica shirt online now.


Get your ticket online now – click HERE!


Town fans who cannot make Friday’s game in person can watch a live stream of the game through iFollow, with match passes on sale now at just £10!

If you’re on the move outside West Yorkshire, you can buy an audio pass to listen to live commentary from BBC Radio Leeds for just £2.50.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

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Match Reports


29 December 2023

Full match report from Town's final Sky Bet Championship fixture of 2023 against Middlesbrough

- Huddersfield Town 1-2 Middlesbrough
- Michał Helik scores sixth of the season
- Coburn and Howson win game for visitors

Despite one of their most complete attacking performances of the season to date, a late goal from Jonathan Howson moments after seeing a penalty saved from Jacob Chapman gave the visitors all three points.

On their third game in six days, Town showed no signs of early fatigue, seemingly picking up from where they left off against Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day.

Working the ball forward with pace and purpose, it was only two minutes in before the crowd had something to shout about, with Rudoni and Wiles giving Thomas time and space to cross from the right. Hitting a Boro defender, the crowd closest screamed for handball, but nobody on the field seemed moved which was telling in itself.

When the away side did enjoy a moment or two of possession on the edge of the Town box, the Terriers pressed as a unit to force a mistake and win it back, flying forward to give Rudoni a chance to deliver from the left flank, with the away defence doing enough to block for a corner.

Starting to show signs of frustration, a petulant foul on Yuta Nakayma just over the halfway line gave Sorba Thomas a chance to deliver into the box, with Tom Lees reading the flight of the ball best to head at goal. Turning his effort well wide, though, the defender put his hands to his head in annoyance.

More brilliant pressing in the final third gave Town another half chance moments later, with Sorba Thomas tempted into having a go from range. Despite the Boro keeper scrambling, a flick off Jack Rudoni’s heels did the away side a huge favour, taking the path of the ball wide for a goal kick. Continuing to attack, David Kasumu was the next to burst forward down the right only to be fouled, with Thomas’ dead ball delivery this time cleared by the defence.

Catching the Terriers against the run of play, it was almost Middlesbrough who took the lead just before the 20 minute mark, with Isaiah Jones doing well to beat Chapman to a spinning ball over the top, lifting it over the goalkeeper to give himself a tap in. Missing the ball with wave of his boot, the ball was still creeping toward the open goal, only for Yuta Nakayama to scoop it away on the slide as it reached the line.

Suddenly opening up, it was Town who tested the goalkeeper next. Working well together, Thomas played a deft ball through for Koroma in the left hand channel of the box, with the forward shaping his body well to side foot across goal looking for the opposite bottom corner. Glover read the situation well, however, and got down smartly to deny Koroma and gather the ball. Countering themselves, Silvera found himself with space in a similar position to Koroma at the other end of the field, with Chapman this time making the intervention between the sticks.

End-to-end by this point, a free-kick taken by Thomas midway into the attacking half was quickly cleared as far as Nakayama, who fancied himself from a long way out on his left. Hitting the defence, they sprang forward with a long ball over the top, giving Rogers chance to race clean through. Covered by Jaheim Headley, the young defender ushered the forward off the ball alone one-one-one to win it back, learning from a similar situation at home earlier this season that saw him sent off against the same opposition in the League Cup.

With the match clock showing just over half an hour played, it was Town’s chance to come extremely close to taking the lead. Rushing onto a through ball with excellent pace, Josh Koroma held off a defender while rounding the goalkeeper outside of the area, forcing himself a little wide with an open goal to aim at. Hitting it a little harder to beat the covering defender chasing him on his less favoured left, he caught it too well, smacking the face of the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

Looking ginger in midfield after falling to his knees, captain Jonathan Hogg was taken from the field at around 40 minutes in what looked like a precautionary move, with Rarmani Edmonds-Green introduced in his place. Despite two minutes of added time indicated by the fourth official and a late corner won by Josh Koroma, that was the last meaningful action of an entertaining opening half.

Play was resumed in the second half by the away side, with neither time moved to make any changes during the half-time interval. Seemingly unhappy with his his side had operated inside the first few minutes of the half with Town enjoying more of the ball, Carrick made an early change in attacking, introducing Josh Coburn in place of Dijksteel, with Jones dropping to right-back.

Undeterred, it was Town who continued to push. Linking down the left, Jack Rudoni chipped a perfect ball forward for Koroma to run onto, with the forward battling with a defender to get ahead before cutting back inside on high right boot on the edge of the box. Curling toward the far corner, Glover shuffled his feet just well enough to get a hand to the ball and deflect it out for a corner.

Rising highest from the corner, Helik powered a great header toward goal that was blocked, with the first attempted clearance seemingly bouncing up to hit Dael Fry in the arm with the Town players and supporters appearing for a penalty in unison - unmoved, the referee allowed the game to continue. Not letting the attack die after getting the ball back, some nice one-touch passing gave Sorba Thomas chance to clip in a cross first time than was just a couple of inches over Jack Rudoni’s head at full stretch.

Against the run of play, it was one simple ball over the top from Rogers to Coburn that undid Town and gave Middlesbrough the lead. Getting in behind the defence, his deft dink over the top of Chapman landed over the line, with the travelling support from the North East delighted in the South Stand of the John Smith’s Stadium as Coburn wheeled away.

Going up another gear in reply, it was David Kasumu who was again tripped in the attacking half seconds after the opening goal, with Sorba Thomas taking another chance to get it into the box. With the Terriers keeping the ball in the final third, it eventually fell to Helik on the edge of the box who swept a right boot at it, catching the ball clean and watching on as it kissed the inside of the left hand upright on its way into the back of the net with Glover at full stretch trying to deny him.

The big Polish central defender’s sixth goal of the 2023/24 season and his first at the John Smith’s Stadium of the campaign, it brings him level with Delano Burgzorg in our goalscoring charts.

With the crowd in HD1 jubilant and feeding off the energy of their team, Town continued to fly forward, winning a corner seconds after play had resumed following the goal. Unforgiving in their press high up the field, another corner was won moments later by Sorba Thomas, but neither dead ball was converted into a chance at goal.

Racing through and powering a wonderful finish home past a helpless Glover just inside the box, Sorba Thomas thought he’d given Town the lead but having crept offside in the build up, the assistant had his flag raised to rule it out. Winning it back, Headley and Rudoni combined down the left to feed Koroma inside the box, who did well to hold off a defender and spin to shoot. Off balance, though, the effort flew wide.

Just as 70 minutes ticked by, Bangura made a run into the box with Kasumu tracking him all the way. Hitting the deck, the referee blew his whistle sharply, but given the lack of contact from David, it was a yellow card for simulation for the Boro man.

A foul on Koroma wide on the left and wonderful play from Rudoni and Thomas on the same flank gave Town two more chances from balls into the box, but neither could be converted, with Kasumu and Wiles doing their best to attack the latter that Glover managed to keep hold of at his far post.

As the contest headed into the final 10 minutes, a late challenge from Wiles on Rogers saw the referee point to the spot, with Town’s number 23 protesting his innocence to no avail. Taken by Howson, a huge leap and late hand in the air from Chapman into his top corner denied the Boro captain in amazing fashion. However, he made amends from the resulting corner, hitting a scruffy volley into the ground that bounced in off the crossbar well out of the reach of the defence and goalkeeper.

Pushing forward after the goal and laying seize to the Boro penalty area, crosses and corners were repeatedly headed away by a defence that dropped increasingly deep, with substitute Kyle Hudlin perhaps closest to pulling Town level sticking out a long leg toward a inswinging cross from Sorba Thomas, but the ball just evaded him. Battling hard for all six minutes of added time, it wasn’t to be for the Terriers on the night, but it was a performance and effort that certainly deserved more - with the John Smith’s Stadium cheers for their home side at full-time underlining that senitment.

TOWN’S TEAM (3-5-2)

Jacob Chapman; Tom Lees, Michał Helik, Yuta Nakayama (Kyle Hudlin 87'); David Kasumu, Ben Wiles, Jonathan Hogg (Rarmani Edmonds-Green 39'), Jack Rudoni, Jaheim Headley; Josh Koroma, Sorba Thomas


Giosue Bellagambi; Brahima Diarra, Josh Austerfield, Loick Ayina, Tom Iorpenda, Michael Stone, Conor Falls


Helik 60'


20,045 (2,248)

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