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Championship: Huddersfield Town take calculated risk on Mark Fotheringham

Huddersfield have appointed Mark Fotheringham as their new head coach, as they bid to turn around what has been a disastrous start to the season for the Championship club.

The Terriers parted ways with former boss Danny Schofield earlier this month after he won just one of his eight league matches in charge, a run that left the Terriers second bottom of the standings.

First-team coaches Narcis Pelach and Paul Harsley did lead Huddersfield to a much-needed victory over Cardiff before the international break, but the West Yorkshire outfit remain three points adrift of safety and it is 1/1 for their season to end in relegation.

What:

Reading v Huddersfield

Where:

Select Car Leasing Stadium, Reading

When:

15:00, Saturday 1st October 2022

How to watch:

N/A

Odds:

Reading 6/5, draw 9/4, Huddersfield 5/2 

All change for Terriers since play-off final

It is hard to believe that Huddersfield were only 90 minutes away from the Premier League just four months ago, as things have unravelled at an alarming rate for the Terriers since their play-off final defeat to Nottingham Forest at Wembley.

Little over five weeks after that loss, the man that had masterminded the Terriers' promotion charge, Carlos Corberan, stepped down as head coach, with former fan favourite Schofield, who was already on the coaching staff at the John Smith's Stadium, taking over in his place.

This was Schofield's first senior managerial role and his cause was not helped by the departure of key players such as Lewis O'Brien and Harry Toffolo, while there was a lack of Championship experience about the additions that arrived through the door over the summer.

All that contributed to a difficult 69 days as head coach for Schofield, who was relieved of his duties on 14th September following a home defeat to Wigan, his seventh loss from nine matches in charge across all competitions.

Huddersfield would have been targeting another promotion push at the start of the campaign, but they are now 40/1 outsiders to go up this season, while they can be backed at 10/3 to finish bottom of the pile.

Fotheringham learned his trade in Germany

After two weeks of searching for a new head coach, Huddersfield confirmed former Celtic, Norwich and Fulham midfielder Fotheringham in the role on Wednesday, with the Scot signing a contract that runs until the summer of 2025.

This will be Fotheringham's first senior management role, but he has built up plenty of coaching experience in Germany over recent years, working at the likes of Ingolstadt, Karlsruhe and, most recently, Hertha Berlin, where he was assistant manager to Felix Magath.

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Fotheringham helped Hertha preserve their Bundesliga status last term before leaving over the summer and he has previously stated that he was "born to be a manager" in his own right.

Huddersfield will certainly be hoping the 38-year-old can hit the ground running and he is likely to benefit from keeping the likes of Pelach and Harsley on as part of his backroom team.

Can Fotheringham turn Huddersfield's fortunes around?

Former Scotland Under-21 star Fotheringham does not have long to get his feet under the table at Huddersfield, with the Terriers facing a run of 11 matches between now and when the Championship breaks for the World Cup in the middle of November.

First up is a trip to the Select Car Leasing Stadium to take on third-place Reading on Saturday, a match the Terriers are priced at 5/2 to win. The hosts, who have triumphed in four of their five Championship matches on home soil this season, can be backed at 6/5 with the draw 9/4.

Huddersfield will face another away fixture at Luton three days after their clash with Reading, while Fotheringham's first home match in charge will come against Hull on 9th October.

The clash with the Tigers will start a run of four matches in five for Huddersfield that will be against sides currently in the bottom half of the standings, handing Fotheringham plenty of opportunities to get points on the board.

It is over a decade since Huddersfield were last in the third tier of English football and Fotheringham will be hoping he is the man to ensure the Terriers do not slip back down to that level come the end of the season.

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