It’s a cliché at this time of the season, but every game is a massive one at this stage. They certainly don’t get much bigger than this Saturday’s against Crystal Palace. After Town’s disappointing 0-0 draw against Swansea last time out, the focus will be breaking down Palace, and securing a precious three points, which will put us in a great position to avoid relegation come May.
As if you could ever forget, Crystal Palace were the first opponents of Town’s in their Premier League adventure back in August. What a day it was. Town dominated a poor Palace side, and capped their return to the top-flight with a 3-0 victory down at Selhurst Park. Since then, Palace have been revitalised by new manager and ex-England flop Roy Hodgson, however a recent slump in results sees them very much in the battle to avoid the drop. The London side are the second in a string of vital fixtures for Town, with games against Newcastle, Brighton and Watford on the horizon post-international break.
The result against Swansea was a tough one to take for Town, and even the fans with the brightest blue and white tinted glasses must admit that it was two points dropped. But there aren’t many, if any games where you will see that sort of domination. Whether at the Nou Camp, the Etihad or elsewhere, that sort of one-sided affair is very rarely seen. Although the Swans did have ten men for the majority, we made them look like they had seven or eight at most. The only possible criticism could’ve been that for all our dominance, we didn’t work Fabianski in the Swansea goal as much as Wagner would’ve liked. Despite having 30 shots, only 4 were on target. But the effort, commitment and desire cannot be questioned. The old Huddersfield Town would’ve conceded the fact that it wasn’t to be our day, but they tried everything to get the three points. Despite the failed breakthrough, confidence in our own displays has only improved with that performance, and Wagner and co. will almost be certain of survival.
That is in the past though, and attentions now turn to Saturday’s affair with Palace. I have no doubt that the same effort will be invested, and Town are actually bookies’ favourites to come away with three points. The John Smiths has been described by many as a ‘fortress’ this term, and the team need the fans and home atmosphere more than ever before. If Town do come out on top this weekend, it will go a long way to securing survival. Lets make sure we do.