May 26, 2024

Neil Warnock reckons he surprised Birmingham City with Huddersfield Town  plan - Birmingham Live

Huddersfield Town injury doubts and final auditions among remaining questions as season nears

The Terriers will take on Dutch side SC Heerenveen in their final summer friendly on Saturday afternoon, and there’s a few things we’re interested to see in that game

Will Jonathan Hogg and Tom Lees be able to get some friendly minutes before the start of the season? The captain and his deputy have not played in any of the friendly games so far after picking up ankle and calf injuries respectively, but Neil Warnock was hopeful that both of them might be back in time to start the campaign.

They could still do so without friendly minutes – just as Lees did two years ago – but Huddersfield Town would presumably ideally like to have either or both available to appear against Heerenveen at the John Smith’s Stadium, even if just for ten minutes or so.

Jonathan Hogg: Huddersfield Town Midfielder Handed New Deal - Last Word on  Football

Whether or not that’s at all likely at this stage, we don’t know…and Warnock may well prefer to keep Plymouth Argyle guessing even if we were to ask him (which of course we will at the next opportunity).

Will anyone get a final audition before the opening day? There were a few changes to the squad against Stockport County on Saturday. Yuta Nakayama continued his comeback from injury, Brahima Diarra was able to be included after coming back from the under-23 Africa Cup of Nations, Chris Maxwell made his non-competitive debut, and Jordan Rhodes was named among the subs after a knock kept him away from the West Country.

Read more: Huddersfield Town notebook: Jordan Rhodes transfer links and Leeds United ticket price update

Perhaps the most interesting inclusion was Scott High, however, with the midfielder coming on in the second half having been left out of the pre-season tour despite being fit and available. On the other side of the ledger, Tyreece Simpson was not included in the 22-man squad at Edgeley Road having gone down to Devon and Cornwall.

There aren’t many more obvious call-ups to make from the B team at this stage, but it may be instructive to see how much Warnock uses High, Rhodes and Simpson this weekend, as well as a few others like Brodie Spencer, Josh Austerfield, Pat Jones and Kyle Hudlin.

TOM LEES SIGNS NEW LONG-TERM CONTRACT! - News - Huddersfield Town

Will Warnock drop any last tactical hints? The manager said down in Cornwall that he does not really think about tactics too much until around a week or two before start of the new campaign, suggesting we’re not to read too much into how he’s lined his side up so far…though we dare say there’s probably a few players who were given specific briefs the manager wanted to see fulfilled.

Huddersfield Town notebook: Jordan Rhodes transfer links and Leeds United  ticket price update - YorkshireLive

As much as we want to take Warnock at his word, picking the same starting line-up and formation against both Liskeard and Stockport – giving them an hour on the pitch together in the latter case – felt at least a bit significant, even with Hogg, Lees and Diarra’s absences.

We’re curious to see if Warnock now gives that 3-5-2 one final run-out before the trip to Plymouth, or whether he takes the opportunity to try a back four. A 4-2-3-1 shape is back on the table with Diarra now involved, after all.

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