1 KEEP THE TERRIERS’ UNDERDOG SPIRIT
Clothes make the man, and David Wagner’s belief in the importance of a terrier-like mentality – of a small dog with lots of fight – has transferred to the players’ garments: Huddersfield will wear the aforementioned pooch on their shirts this season in place of their club crest. The message is simple. This is a club that took points off top dogs Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea last time out – they must maintain that fearless mindset.
2 MAXIMISE MOMENTUM OF MAIN MAN MOO Y
Step one: do not sell Aaron Mooy to any of the clubs linked with the Australian midfielder, including but not limited to West Ham, Southampton and Everton. Step two: pass the ball to Aaron Mooy whenever possible. Step three: continue to repeat step two.
3 GET CREATIVE OR GET OUT
The club’s 2017-18 player of the year Christopher Schindler (left) marshalled a superb defence last season. However, Ince, Van La Parra and Kachunga were all underwhelming further forward; Ince played 1,527 minutes before contributing directly to a goal. It’s make-or-break time for this group – if they don’t start creating more consistently, upgrade. At least January signing Alex Pritchard had a good start.
4 SIGN A MIDFIELD BA TTLER
The Terriers need Mooy to feel that he has freedom to contribute to attacks, so while he’s playing in the ‘2’ of a 4-2-3-1 for a team who are often on the back foot, he needs a very reliable defensive midfielder alongside him. Jonathan Hogg raised his game following promotion but laboured near the season’s end, and neither Phillip Billing nor Danny Williams look capable of filling the ‘cut-price Kante’ role.
5 DEVELOP A PLAN B
Huddersfield will no longer have the element of surprise to their benefit in 2018-19 and there is a worry that there isn’t a Plan B. Some tactical flexibility would be useful, and it’s thought that Wagner may kick off the new campaign with the back three that appeared at times last season.