Final pre-season game ahead of season restart
- Huddersfield Town play another pre-restart friendly
- Danny Cowley’s side play at Middlesbrough on Saturday
- Terriers impressive in three 45-minute stints
Town’s preparation for the restart of the Sky Bet Championship season took another step forward on Saturday through another friendly at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.
Danny Cowley’s squad got further minutes under their belt across three 45-minute periods with the opening fixture against Wigan Athletic only a week away.
Following on from the previous friendly fixtures against Sheffield United and Hull City, the Terriers looked to be peaking at just the right time against Boro, really impressing at the Riverside.
“Yesterday was another step in the right direction,” Manager Danny Cowley told htafc.com on Sunday morning, having watched the full 135 minutes back again.
“We’ve worked hard in this period to get the players to the level of physical fitness they need to be robust enough to play so many games in a short period of time. Credit to the players and staff for the physical work they did remotely during lockdown, as well as their attitude and work-ethic since they’ve returned. I feel we’re in a much better place physically than when football was paused, which was the aim from the outset.
“I’ve talked before about the challenges of not having pre-season together, as time on the grass together is invaluable. As well as the physical element, we have done lots of work on developing our game model too. Developing the players’ understanding of how we want to play gives you alignment.
“Now, in the final nine games, we want to get value for that work in our results.”
This period has also allowed the coaches to do extensive work with players on an individual basis; something that was evident in several performances at the Riverside on Saturday.
“The small group sessions when training recommenced allowed us to do that, as well as work in departments; the defenders, the midfielders, the forwards and the left and right sides.
“We had some good individual performances against Middlesbrough, and as a group we played with more intensity, aggression and power against the ball; exactly what we need. If we do that against the ball, it helps you when you’re in possession too.”
Now the focus is on the first Sky Bet Championship game of the restarted season at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
“We will tailor this week so that the players peak on Saturday. We’ve done our work on Wigan – for the second time now – and we are under no illusions; we are in for a very tough game.
“We’re looking at this positively though. We have a nine-game mini-season and we want to finish as high up that table as we possibly can; that’s our challenge to the players.”