The recent training ground bust-up involving several first team players at Huddersfield Town has had more of an effect than was at first apparent.
It was a surprise to see Anthony Gerrard, Martin Paterson and Adam Clayton all omitted from the West Yorkshire derby match day squad.
All three are established professionals, and it was thought that the Town squad didn’t have the depth to enable Mark Robins to drop three players as he did.
Beating Leeds seemed to vindicate his decision, with Town producing a high-quality performance that saw them dominate the game and produce the result they deserved.
The result against Wigan, where key midfielder Jonathan Hogg suffered a knee injury, and the performance against Birmingham highlight that Town need to either bring those players back or bring in replacements quickly.
With Hogg and the suspended James Vaughan missing, and skipper Peter Clarke substituted after just five minutes with an ankle injury, Town looked worryingly lightweight.
Even with Gerrard restored to the back line, the Terriers were bereft of leadership and drive. Clayton and Paterson remained nowhere to be seen on a day when the team needed options of their quality.
Instead, teenager Daniel Carr was introduced up front after an hour and hardly got a kick, while Danny Ward laboured behind the lone front man and was unable to provide the quality link-up play Clayton is capable of.
With Hogg, Vaughan and Clarke all missing, options would have been limited anyway, but the fragility of the squad has been highlighted all too clearly by the last two games.
The Terriers can ill afford to leave players out for disciplinary reasons when to do so results in abject performances like Saturday’s.
Fortunately, the international break provides a chance for clear-the-air talks, loan signings and players to regain fitness. I look forward to a full-strength Town team running out at Hillsborough on November 23.