Play-offs hard to take
There is a very fine line between success and failure, and Huddersfield Town could be about to learn this lesson the hardest way imaginable.
To describe 23 games unbeaten as a failure is of course ridiculous in the extreme, but not gaining automatic promotion this year after such a heroic effort in the second half of this season will be an exceedingly bitter pill to swallow, and will be seen as a lot of effort potentially in vain. The play offs are looming, should we fail to overturn Southampton’s lead over us, and after last years failure in the end of season lottery it is not a fate we want to resign ourselves too.
However with only two games remaining this season now is the time for positive thinking and that although our destiny is no longer in our hands, all we can do now is win our remaining two games, and in doing so we can hope that we put enough pressure on Southampton to at least make the run in a less than forgone conclusion.
For now our focus should be on Brighton and ensuring that we take our unbeaten run into the last game of the season.
Brighton are of course already promoted, and have possibly switched off now as there is nothing left for them to play for as they’re already Champions, this however shouldn’t mean that this game is a forgone conclusion, as they are the best team in this division and I’m sure they’ll want to prove that.
Another factor that cannot be ignored is that this is their last home game of the season, and I believe their last match at the, much maligned, Withdean Stadium. They will not want to leave on the back of a defeat, so it will not be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination.
The second half of this season should prove to everyone associated with the club that we now have a team capable of competing with every team in the league, a side with the correct blend of youthful exuberance and quality experience.
This is a team with plenty of ability, but also one capable of battling it out and holding on to a slim lead. The biggest accolade I can give the group as a whole was the mental strength they have shown following the horrific injury to Anthony Pilkington.
To lose our only representative in the PFA team of the year, was a body blow, and one that I feared would derail our campaign, but all credit must go to Lee Clark for addressing the issue by bringing in Danny Ward as cover, and more recently using Jack Hunt as a right winger to great effect.
This is a team to build on, and Lee Clark is a manager who we should now all have complete faith in. There have been a few rocky periods during his tenure, but it must be remembered that he is a young manager learning his trade. He has also had to deal with changes to his backroom staff, which is also a young one, if you excuse the permanently moustached presence of Terry McDermott.
As a unit we must put our faith in the players and the management team and under the superb stewardship of our excellent chairman, Dean Hoyle, we can all be confident of a bright and positive future whatever the final outcome of this season.
It is vital now that we do not switch off, that we remain focused on our target, and don’t lose our heads at this vital time of the campaign.
A final word must go to all the participants of the pedal for pounds campaign, in which over 200 hundred Town fans, along with Hoyle and club legend Andy Booth, are cycling from Huddersfield to Brighton for the Yorkshire air ambulance. This is a fantastic effort for a brilliant cause, and I hope they will all be richly rewarded with a Town victory, and here’s hoping; a Southampton defeat.