In­ter­na­tional helps Mounie on path back

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

HUD­DER­S­FIELD Town striker Steve Mounie got an­other hour of game time un­der his belt for the Benin na­tional team as he works his way back from a heel in­jury.

The 23-year-old picked up the in­jury in Town’s 2-0 de­feat to West Ham United in Septem­ber and has had to set­tle for two ap­pear­ances off the bench for Town since re­turn­ing to the first team fold.

That is partly due to the fine form of team­mate Lau­rent De­poitre – whose goals earned him a re­call to the Bel­gian na­tional team for the first time in two years this month – but also due to Mounie’s fit­ness be­ing down af­ter the lay­off.

Head coach David Wag­ner was keen for the Benin in­ter­na­tional to use the break to get back to full fit­ness, with the Squir­rels tak­ing on Congo and Tan­za­nia in a friendly dou­ble-header last week.

Ahead of the vic­tory over West Brom, Wag­ner said: “We made some tests with him at the start of the week and, fit­ness-wise, he is on a good level but not a level where he was be­fore the in­jury.

In­ter­na­tional round up: Jonas Lossl and Mathias Jor­gensen’s Den­mark held by Repub­lic of Ire­land

“At the start he was one of the top two in the group, fit­ness-wise. But he is not back at that level yet, even if he is still at a good level com­pared to the group.”

He added: “The in­ter­na­tional break will suit him. He will be away with Benin and have two fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties to get min­utes in his legs for the na­tional team.”

Mounie has taken the op­por­tu­nity to sharpen up his fit­ness, hav­ing been handed two starts by Benin boss Ou­mar Tchomogo.

The Town man played 85 min­utes against Congo on Wed­nes­day, be­fore hav­ing an­other hour of foot­ball on Sun­day - both matches ended 1-1, although Mounie did not add to his in­ter­na­tional tally.

The Terriers’ record sign­ing is likely to be avail­able for the trip to Bournemouth this week­end, where he will once again be com­pet­ing with De­poitre for the striker’s jersey. ■■Stu­art Pearce will no longer con­tinue to pro­mote book­maker Bet­fred fol­low­ing his ap­point­ment as as­sis­tant to new West Ham man­ager David Moyes.

The for­mer Eng­land de­fender made 50 ap­pear­ances for the Ham­mers in the au­tumn of his ca­reer and will join Alan Irvine on Moyes’ coach­ing staff, the Pre­mier League club con­firmed late on Sun­day.

Pearce, 55, had been signed up to help pro­mote Bet­fred’s foot­ball bet­ting cam­paign for a third sea­son.

How­ever, now the for­mer Manch­ester City and Eng­land un­der-21 man­ager has re­turned to take up a role within the game, he be­comes sub­ject to the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s bet­ting rules, which state “an in­di­vid­ual par­tic­i­pant, when act­ing in a per­sonal ca­pac­ity, shall not be per­mit­ted to ad­ver­tise or pro­mote any bet­ting ac­tiv­ity”.

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