As Huddersfield fans head down the M1 towards Reading we popped over to sister site Vital Reading for a pre-game chat with their site editor Josh on his views ahead of the 3pm kick off.
1. What were your expectations before the season started and have they changed at all over the course of the season?
Before the season started, there was a rare optimism among our fans that we could really change for an automatic spot, with our owner seemingly behind us, a manager who had a good record at this level and a squad that was largely unchanged and improved on from last year. However, after a decent start to the campaign, it really went downhill November and December time, eventually dropping out of the play off spots. Our Russian owner did a runner, meaning we could not buy or loan players during January, when we needed it most. Since then, play offs have really remained the aim.
2. How confident are you of the play-offs?
If we could improve our home form, we would certainly be more confident that we are now. Our away form is superb, but our form at the Madejski is really letting us down, being winless in five heading into our game. Fans seem to be 50-50 at the moment on whether we can do it, but we certainly can if we improve our home form.
3. It has been over a year now since Nigel Adkins was appointed as manager – how would you assess his first year?
While some of our fans will disagree, I think he has done well in the circumstances. Adkins wanted us to adapt to his short-passing, fluid style of play, but found most of our players couldn`t pass five yards. Instead of playing the players, fans ridiculously opted to blame the manager, despite his best efforts. He then realised it wasn`t working, so went for a more familiar direct approach, but still can`t seem to please all the fans.
4. Who are your stand out players in the side at the moment?
Forgetting the Barnsley defeat, Chris Gunter has been a key defensive and attacking threat for us, bombing up the right side. Royston Drenthe also looks like a new player after a falling out with the manager over fitness issues earlier in the season, but is starting to show the odd glimpse of why he used to play for Real Madrid.
5. If you could take any Huddersfield player at the moment, who would it be and why?
I`d probably have Nakhi Wells of your hands. As much as we have Pogrebnyak and Le Fondre, we don`t have any other recognised strikers. Apart from Le Fondre, we have missed a striker with blistering pace that plays off the shoulder and considering his goal record in the lower leagues, Wells fits the bill.
6. What starting XI and shape do you expect to see on Saturday from Adkins?
I`d expect a few changes from the other day, which is likely to include the returning Danny Williams and Sean Morrison:
4-2-3-1: McCarthy, Gunter, Pearce, Morrison, Obita, Akpan, Williams, McCleary, Drenthe, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak
7. What is your prediction for the game?
We need to get a result at home sooner or later and I have a sneaky feeling it may come today. I reckon we could sneak it 2-1.
See my answers on our sister site Vital Reading
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