Fit-again winger previews Leeds derby
Huddersfield Town winger Danny Ward is back in the fold after his injury lay-off – and he’s excited about the prospect of being involved in this weekend’s West Yorkshire derby at Leeds United.
The 22 year-old hasn’t started a game since the away trip to Hull on 15 December due to a broken metatarsal, but he’s hoping two impressive cameo performances from the bench in Town’s last two games might force him back into the team.
“My main focus has been on getting back fit and trying to work my way back into the team,” Danny explained to htafc.com.
“I’ve been working hard with the Fitness Coach over the past couple of weeks to get my fitness back and I’ll keep working hard to try and establish myself for the rest of the season.”
New Manager Mark Robins was full of praise for Danny after his goal-scoring return against Middlesbrough recently – something Ward admitted was good for his confidence.
“It’s always good when that happens. It was good to come back and play well in the last two games; it’s given me a great boost. I was a bit achy to start with, but we knew that would be the case and hopefully I’ll stay fit for the season.”
Next up for Town is the eagerly anticipated drive down the M621 to Leeds United on Saturday – a prospect Ward is relishing.
“Obviously you get up for every game – I get really excited – but with this being a local derby it will make it even better. I imagine the atmosphere will be electric.
“Personally, I prefer the big atmospheres and I’m sure most of the lads would say the same.”
Ward is no stranger to Elland Road, having spent five years there as a youngster.
“I was at Leeds from under-12 to under-16 level and I really enjoyed myself there. I was in Tom Lees’ group and Aidy White was in the year below me; they are both there and it will be good to see them again.
“My five years there helped me develop as a player. When I got to the end of the Under-16 age group I was offered a scholarship, but Bolton came in and I decided it was better for me to go there.
“It’s worked out well. At Bolton I got a chance to play alongside some fantastic Premier League players and I’m happy with how everything has panned out – so far!”
Town’s main focus this season is on consolidating npower Championship status and Ward believes the best way to do this is to take the attack to the opponents.
He continued: “Obviously we want to stay in the League, but I think we have to push on and establish ourselves as a Championship team. We’ve definitely got the talent and determination in this squad to stay up. We’ll take each game as it comes.
“I think our mentality has to be to try and win every game, without putting too much pressure on ourselves. We have ideas of coming away from Leeds on Saturday with three points; we don’t want to come away with anything less really.
“In the Championship you get to play at better grounds against better teams and we want that. As a Club we want to push forwards and perhaps in the next couple of years we can push for a chance to gain promotion to the Premier League. We don’t want to go back to League 1.”
Get your ticket for the Leeds game on Saturday – click HERE for full info!