In Tray: The issues facing new Huddersfield boss Jan Siewert
The German takes over with the Terriers 10 points adrift of safety.
Huddersfield have installed Jan Siewert as the club’s new head coach.
The 36-year-old former Borussia Dortmund reserve-team boss replaces David Wagner, who departed by mutual consent last week with the club rooted to the foot of the Premier League.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at the most pressing items on Siewert’s to-do list.
Deliver the winning feeling
🤝 #htafc is delighted to announce the appointment of Jan Siewert as its new Head Coach.— Huddersfield Town (@htafc) January 21, 2019
The 36-year-old joins The Terriers from @BVB II, where he held the position of Head Coach, signing a contract running until the summer of 2021.
➡️ https://t.co/UhMJHvZdFK (AT) pic.twitter.com/qhuAVOAb1P
Siewert’s first task is to instil his players with self-belief and convince them they are not fighting a lost cause. Huddersfield have lost nine of their last 10 league games and sit 10 points from safety with 15 games remaining. The German faces a mountainous task if he is to rescue the Terriers, but he must snap their losing habit and find a way to win so even if they do go down it is with heads held high in readiness for next season.
Add bite to Terriers’ attack
🗨️ Dean Hoyle: “This is a challenging time for #htafc, make no mistake, but we have an exciting Head Coach on our hands, I’m sure.— Huddersfield Town (@htafc) January 21, 2019
"He will give his all for this Club and your support can make this a perfect environment to thrive.”
➡️ https://t.co/UhMJHvZdFK (AT) pic.twitter.com/eFVrhTE5qo
The club’s owner/chairman Dean Hoyle assured fans the club has not given up on their survival fight when announcing Siewert’s arrival. Goals have eluded Town all season and the new head coach must quickly establish whether funds will be made available. The transfer window is open for another 10 days and more firepower is a must if the club are serious about preserving their Premier League status.
Comeback will make Mooy merrier
Injured midfielder Aaron Mooy has been sorely missed and Siewert will be keen for the latest update from medical staff on the Australian’s recovery. A medial knee ligament injury sustained in early December has sidelined Mooy for eight matches and at the end of last month he was scheduled to return to action at the end of January. Siewert will be anxious to learn whether his comeback will be with Town or Australia in the Asian Cup.
Stick or twist
Hoyle’s reputation as an astute owner has soared in recent seasons and their current plight begs the question whether the club will stick or twist – spend now or save their money for an assault on an immediate return to the top flight. Publically at least, Hoyle is striving for a balance, but Siewert must start out with one eye on the Sky Bet Championship and be initially prepared for a short-lived tenure as a Premier League manager.
Lady Luck frowned on Town
There is little Siewert can do about events leading to the departure of his predecessor, but after a fresh start the club will certainly be hoping for some rub of the green. Wagner was left cursing a string of controversial refereeing decisions that cost his side as ‘soft’ dismissals, penalty decisions and disallowed goals combined to undermine his side’s relegation fight. The new boss may bring about a change of luck.