Huddersfield Town have had a fantastic season thus far with no signs of slowing down. The Yorkshire outfit find themselves in 4th position, just six points off 2nd place and are truly in contention to be in the top flight next season.
However, can they secure automatic promotion rather than going through the ordeal of the playoffs?
Over Christmas and the New Year, the Yorkshire side came up against Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest. A tough period in the season for many teams, but Huddersfield dealt with the quick-fire amount of games with impressive performances against Nottingham Forest and Wigan but were left disheartened with a draw against Blackburn on New Year’s Eve.
Despite the draw against Blackburn, the Terries gained seven points out of a possible nine which extended their unbeaten run to a superb seven games.
David Wagner and his men have impressed the rest of the Championship this season, and the German is a significant influence on why Huddersfield are 4th in the league.
Wagner arrived at John Smith’s Stadium in November 2015; making the 2016/17 campaign his first full season at the helm. Like his former colleague Klopp, the German tactician has brought a pressing style of play to the Huddersfield. For example, creating confidence to play the ball out from the back to mount an attack.
In the last league game against Wigan, centre back Aaron Mooy made the highest number of passes, 104, in the fixture; demonstrating the club’s level of confidence.
The former Borussia Dortmund assistant manager has created a strong bond with the football club and cares deeply about his players.
Dean Whitehead has been linked away from the John Smith’s Stadium, but Wagner spoke to the midfielder about his importance in the side even if he doesn’t feature regularly and the player responded buoyantly saying that he loves playing for the club and is hoping for a personal hat-trick of promotions.
The push for automatic promotion will be enhanced for Huddersfield Town if they can keep striker Nahki Wells fit and healthy. The Bermuda international might not be the top goal scorer for the club, second behind Elias Kachunga, but the striker has a natural ability to find the back of the net.
The former Bradford striker has scored seven goals thus far and boasts an average of 53% shots on target. Wells’ current form is the stat Wagner will be looking at as he has two goals in his last two games; including a stunning late free kick to save a point against Blackburn Rovers.
After impressing the Huddersfield faithful with 17 goals last season, Wells will be hoping to push on in the second half of the season to better his goal tally and guide his side to the Premier League for the first time.
The message from David Wagner will be simple for his side in 2017, play like you did in 2016. The German will be motivating his team every game to get all three points and create pressure on the front runners Brighton and Newcastle.
The Terries must look forward rather than behind them to secure automatic promotion, and if they can continue with their impressive form, Brighton and Newcastle will be looking over their shoulders with more intent.