Recent performances have made it difficult to feel positive about the prospects for the rest of the season for Huddersfield Town.
The loss to Middlesbrough, cruel as it was to fall victim to a contentious last-minute penalty, was in truth what Town deserved following a tepid performance after Grant Leadbitter’s thunderous free-kick gave Boro the lead. The defence was far more solid from open play, and the same was true in the goalless draw with Wigan, but that solidity was undermined by a catalogue of dreadful individual errors which cost Town in the West Yorkshire derby against Leeds.
The most frustrating aspect of recent performances has been that Town do have the players to damage teams at this level. But these players have not shown what they can do. Pinpointing the reasons why probably holds the key to Town’s success this season. If the talents of Wells, Majewski, Butterfield, Scannell, Hammill and the like can be effectively harnessed there’s more than enough to guarantee safety. If these players continue to hide, as Oliver Norwood did for much of last season, then the team is in real trouble.
My personal view is that a chronic lack of confidence has made its way around the camp. There’s little belief in the players that they can win games or are good enough. If the manager can instil some belief in them then there’s enough there for a comfortable season. But the longer the team goes without a win - and particularly a win at home to get the fans onside - the less likely Town are to get out of early-season trouble and more likely to find themselves in a relegation battle throughout the season.
It is possible to be positive, but the longer things stay as they are the harder it is. A result is needed, and soon. Millwall at home on Saturday would be a good place to start.