EFL

Huddersfield boss Andre Breitenreiter refusing to give up fight for survival

By Sports Desk April 20, 2024

Huddersfield manager Andre Breitenreiter insists his side have to continue believing they can beat the drop from the Championship, despite a 4-0 defeat at home to Swansea leaving them two points from safety with just two matches left to play.

Second-half goals from Jamal Lowe, Ronald, Jerry Yates and Liam Walsh condemned the Terriers to a fifth loss in their last 10 outings – a run which includes just one win.

Huddersfield’s penultimate game of the season sees them welcome Birmingham – the team currently directly above them in the league table – to the John Smith’s Stadium in what is likely to be a decisive encounter in the battle against relegation.

And Breitenreiter is refusing to give up hope that they can retain their Championship status.

“We have to stay in the league, but it’s a hard fight,” he said.

“We need the people around the team, we need one group on the pitch, and when it’s not like this, you’ll never have a chance to stay in the league.

“Teams will go down when they’re not together. This is the truth in every country.

“So we have to stay together and yes there’s frustration – that’s totally clear today – but it’s done from Monday and then we have to prepare and to think positive.

“It’s hard maybe to say, but we have to believe that it’s possible.

“We have to come to the stadium next week and to give everything for the three points, because then we’d be one point above Birmingham.”

Although the four goals came from the 73rd minute onwards, Breitenreiter was disappointed with his team’s performance from the outset as they failed to register a shot on target all game.

“We didn’t start the game good and we knew about the quality and ball possession of Swansea, their identity,” the German added.

“But the distances from the defenders to the strikers were not very good – it was a bit too big.

“We didn’t press as a team, individual players didn’t execute the plan we’d discussed before.

“We weren’t near to 100 per cent as a group – we have to speak honest about this – and it wasn’t good enough.”

Swansea boss Luke Williams was thrilled with his side’s display as they made it three wins on the bounce without conceding a goal.

“I think it was a very tough game because Huddersfield have such clear motivation for the game, and I thought they approached it really well,” he said.

“And I’ve worked with at least three of the players in the squad and I know they have a lot of quality.

“But I think when we made the breakthrough, of course, they have to try to get back on terms and then it leaves more space at the back of the pitch.

“That’s the moment that you have to try to capitalise and I think we’ve been guilty at times of scoring and then trying to protect the lead.

“We had this probably earlier on in the season. We had a big problem with conceding a goal not long after we’d scored the first one, so we’ve improved from that and today we were ruthless.”

Lowe, Yates and Walsh all scored from the bench, something which was particularly pleasing for Williams.

“Everyone’s there fighting for everything, and then you make changes and those guys affect the game in a really positive way,” he added.

“When you get that as the head coach, you’re very fortunate.”

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