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Former boss Chris Powell backs Huddersfield to avoid the drop

Chris Powell spent 14 months as Huddersfield manager
Chris Powell spent 14 months as Huddersfield manager

Huddersfield's former manager Chris Powell believes the club will avoid relegation from the Premier League this season.

Powell, 48, was sacked by the Terriers in November 2015 and replaced by current boss David Wagner, but is delighted to see them defy the odds in the top flight.

"I do think they will stay up," Powell told Press Association Sport. "Not just because they're 10th now. I just feel that there are definitely three worse teams.

"I think they will finish above 17th. Where I couldn't tell you because it chops and changes.

"But I do feel, unless all the teams who are struggling bring in players who can help them really up their game, and I don't see that happening, they will be fine."

The Terriers, who completed a fairytale rise from the lower reaches of the Sky Bet Championship last season, have beaten Manchester United and West Brom in back-to-back home league games to climb back into the top half of the table.

They held on after defender Christopher Schindler had been sent off to win 1-0 against West Brom on Saturday and register their fourth Premier League win of the season.

"It's been an incredible journey and I'm sure many people, including David and (chairman) Dean (Hoyle), can't get their heads round exactly what's happened.

"But Dean made a change with regards to the focus of the club when he brought David in. That's the big thing.

"A lot of things have changed off the field. The club needed it. They deserved it and Dean and David have gone on. It's worked for them.

"It works at some clubs and it doesn't at a lot of others, but it's great to see it's happened for them.

"It's a club I know well. I had a great time, good people, good area and now they're getting their just reward."

Powell is keen to return to a coaching or management role after losing his job as assistant manager at Derby in March when Steve McClaren was sacked.

Former Charlton boss Powell, who has also had two caretaker spells at Leicester and Derby, has turned one offer down and is currently enjoying his work as a pundit.

Wagner has hailed the Terriers' fans repeatedly this season - West Brom boss Tony Pulis also saluted the John Smith's Stadium crowd on Saturday - and Powell said that support was another major factor in the club's success story.

"People may think it's a cliche, but it really isn't," Powell added. "If you have that and a really positive, supportive chairman, well the results are there for everyone to see.

"The fans want to see top Premier League teams come to the John Smith's and they want to see them leave empty-handed.

"That's happened already on one occasion this season and I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again."

Press Association

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