HUDDERSFIELD TOWN head into the last game of the season knowing that Championship survival is firmly in their own hands.
The Terriers just need a point to be assured of safety for a second season in the Championship, whilst visitors Barnsley could leapfrog Huddersfield with a victory that would all but secure their Championship status, however a point could also be enough for the Tykes.
It’s got the makings of a cracking or a dour game, as both sides don’t want to lose, as they both go for a win it could be end-to-end or a cagey affair.
Town have Neil Danns, Jermaine Beckford and Danny Ward all facing last tests, but with an otherwise full squad to choose from.
If Barnsley were to be victorious at the Town Ground, where they won on their last visit in 2006, the sequence of results that could relegate Huddersfield would be wins for Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday and a draw for Millwall would send Town immediately back down to League One.
So stay tuned and get down today and support the lads, as we aim to stay up!
Vital Quotes: Mark Robins
“It`s been a good, usual week for us. We know Saturday`s game is approaching and we can`t wait; everybody is looking forward to it. The quicker it comes, the better,”
“I`m not at all surprised that it`s come down to the final game of the season; I always thought it would be the case. The way that the teams at the bottom of the league have acquitted themselves and worked over the last few months has been absolutely unbelievable.
“Everybody has been winning – teams at the bottom are in Play-Off form. It`s unheard of that teams on 54 and 57 points are in danger of slipping out of the league.
“There are lots of scenarios that could unfold, but it`s about us; how we perform on the day and how we cope with our situation. Last weekend we did enough to win our game and fair play to the teams around us, because they did too. Last weekend was pivotal, but nothing was settled.
“The League has been phenomenal and I`m sure the League is absolutely delighted with the way things have played out in every division this season. It`s all come down to this last day and, again, it will come down to how we perform. If we take care of our business on Saturday, there is no need to worry about anybody else.
“Everybody has fought hard to get here. I`ve talked before about how Dean Hoyle looks after this club and any visitors to Canalside can see what`s going on around the place, so it`s important for us to remain in the Championship. We have to do whatever`s necessary to get the three points on Saturday.
“It`s sport and you can`t take anything for granted. We have to make sure we do our jobs; that`s all you can do.
“We`ve played some really good stuff lately, scoring three goals in three of our last four games. If we take that form into Saturday, it should be a cracker.”
You have to give Barnsley a lot of credit because of the way they`ve played. They`re spirited and since Dave Flitcroft took over they have shown they are a good side and have picked good points up. We know it`s not going to be easy, but equally it will not be easy for any of the teams involved on the day. It will be a scrap, but it will be a good game.
“It will be a cup tie on Saturday, but we will prepare for the game like any other. We are focussed and there is a determination in the squad, which is what you look for.”
“The fixtures have been out all season, so I knew it was around the corner. It has nothing to do with the game though, regardless of what people might say. I was employed at Barnsley for a while, but no longer – my absolute focus is firmly on Huddersfield Town and for us to finish as high as we can in the league.
“We can still finish 12th, which is absolutely ridiculous.”
The game has captured the imagination of both sets of fans, with over 20,000 tickets now sold for the game.
“It`s a game that befits that sort of crowd,” Mark explained. “Credit to both sets of supporters because there is a real appetite to watch the sides.
“Both sets of supporters will have the same aspirations, but I hope that we get the rub of the green and the right result on the day. I know the supporters will be 100% behind them.”
“Fitness-wise we are ok, which I`m delighted with. We`ll have another look at the players tomorrow and assess things.
“Jermaine (Beckford) is training, so we`ll look at him over the next 24 hours – but Novak was excellent last weekend. They are the decisions you want – you want everyone raring to go.
“The players are putting in a shift and are in great spirits. Training has been of a high quality, which augers well for the game.”
Huddersfield Town Team News:
Neil Danns (toe), Jermaine Beckford & Danny Ward (both Groin) all face late fitness tests.
Anton Robinson out for the season.
Player to watch: James Vaughan
Vaughan’s last game as a loan player for Huddersfield Town. Will we see him back next season? That will largely depend on today’s outcome!
Barnsley Team News:
Stephen Dawson returns from suspension.
Jacob Mellis and Rory Delap could also be available
Rob Edwards has recovered from a hamstring injury
Jim McNulty (ankle) and Bobby Hassell (hamstring) remain sidelined.
Player to watch: Chris O’Grady
The striker, on-loan from Sheffield Wednesday, has been in good form for Barnsley and the Tykes will be hoping he can score some more goals in their bid to avoid the drop.
Match Facts & Stats
Barnsley 0-1 Huddersfield Town.
Jermaine Beckford (36) marked his return from injury by scoring the winner for Huddersfield at Barnsley and take Simon Grayson’s side back into the top six.
Then Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson:
‘I think the keeper made some fantastic saves and at 1-0 you’re always vulnerable.
‘I’m delighted that we saw out in a professional manner a 1-0 victory.
‘We limited Barnsley to very few opportunities which was obviously pleasing as well.’
Then Barnsley manager Keith Hill:
‘It’s not about the performance, it’s about the result.
‘Again, the performance was lacking penetration and I think it’s obvious to everyone why we’re not winning games and we’re losing games.
‘I just want to focus on one thing and it’s definitely the result.’
Andre Marriner will take charge of Huddersfield Town v Barnsley in today’s 12:45 final Championship fixture of the season.
The West Midlands official was promoted in 2005 to the Select Group Referees and officiates primarily in the Premier league. He has also officiated for FIFA since 2009, and has been handed this years FA cup final match on 11 May 2013.
Marriner has taken in a total of 35 games this season, issuing 108 yellow cards and 6 reds during that time.
He last officiated Huddersfield Town in the away victory over Leeds United on the 16th March.
Marriner’s last Championship game was Cardiff 3-0 Nottingham Forest, where he issued his season high of 7 yellow cards and 1 red.
His last match was in the Premier League, as Liverpool romped to a 6-0 victory over Newcastle at St.James Park
Marriner has dismissed a total of 6 players in his last 6 games.
Huddersfield Town v Barnsley (12:45)
Referee: ANDRE MARRINER
Assistants: Steve Child and Simon Long
Fourth Official: James Adcock
Huddersfield Town 2-2 Barnsley
ENJOY THE SUMMER LADS!