Huddersfield Town have had an incredible February picking up 14 points from a possible 18 – in doing so they have extended their unbeaten run in the league to 15 matches. The current run has Town fans dreaming of promotion, as this season is starting to have a special feeling.
The last time Town were promoted was in 2016-17, and that season under German boss David Wagner had a wave of hope, optimism and spirit.
That collective togetherness between the board, staff, players and fans was so close it is rarely seen in football. That bond was shattered in the following four years as club and fans began to feel disconnected. However in the current campaign that special feeling that once permeated the club is now starting to return under Spaniard Carlos Corberan.
It’s turning out to be an unbelievable season that’s taken everyone by surprise. We can all feel hope of maybe reaching the promised land once again. Under Wagner it was like a wave of joy and success, one even if you wanted to, you couldn’t get off.
This season has felt different as most fans, myself included, expected Town to be around mid-table at best come this point in the season. With the squad we had assembled I never would have dreamed that third in the table was possible.
The month of February has shown us one thing, though, and that is that this squad will never, ever not try, either for each other or us the fans. They are a proper team, one which cares, one that wants the whole club to succeed.
The month started with a 2-0 win over strugglers Derby County. A sending off for former Terrier Richard Stearman did help our cause, and whilst the Rams put up a fight for 75 minutes with ten men, goals from Duane Holmes and Jordan Rhodes secured the points.
Our fourth round FA Cup game followed and we beat fellow Championship side Barnsley 1-0 to go through to the next round.
Two 0-0 draws followed that, firstly away to Preston North End where the Lancastrians put up a tough test, being on a good run themselves. Then a home clash with South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United was next. The Blades, still wanting to mount a play-off charge, were always going to be stiff opposition. The game ended level despite the fact Town had three penalty shouts and a disallowed goal that still rankles.
The next two games may well be ones we look back at the end of this season and decide they were a turning point. First up was a trip to Fulham, a ground Town hadn’t won at since 1993.
A Fulham win was about as sure a bet as you could imagine. Hope you didn’t put money on that “dead cert!” The story was to change this time as goals from Ward and Holmes, who slotted in a penalty, meant the Terriers headed back to Yorkshire with three classy points.
To contrast the Fulham game we then had a home fixture against Cardiff City. Whilst the Bluebirds had improved under boss Steve Morison they were still lying low in the table. Town would get a shock when on loan Manchester City midfielder Tommy Doyle grabbed the opening goal in the 61st minute giving Cardiff the lead.
Town, however, showed amazing grit and determination to turn the game around and eventually win 2-1 thanks to goals from Josh Koroma and Jon Russell. That was the night I think every Town fan could feel something special was maybe starting to happen again.
The final game of the month ended with another victory as Town beat Birmingham City on the road. The Blue Noses became Small Heath Alliance on the day in conjunction with promoting the final series of the Peaky Blinders which started on Sunday.
Goals from on loan defender Levi Colwill and midfielder Lewis O’Brien gave the Terriers a comfortable win leaving Birmingham feeling Peaky and Town playing a Blinder.
On the last day in February it was announced that former chairman Dean Hoyle would be taking back full control of the club from Phil Hodgkinson. In a statement made on the club’s website it was declared that Hoyle would ‘re-acquire’ Hodgkinson’s 75% shares.
This wasn’t a surprise, of course, but there was no mention of any impending takeover. Why would Dean want to sell right now?
In previous months I have selected goalkeeper Lee Nicholls as the stand-out player for Town. Whilst he again has had an exceptional month, I have to this time pick out midfielder Jon Russell.
The 6ft 4in tall former Chelsea academy product has had an outstanding month, capping it off by scoring the winning goal against Cardiff City. Russell is only 21 and comparisons with former player Phil Billing will be made.
In my opinion Russell will go on to have a bigger career than Billing, who now is at Bournemouth. Russell is calm on the ball and can see a pass, he never looks pressured. Whilst he might lack a touch of pace, he has a cleverness beyond his years.
In March Town have to face stiff opposition as they take on West Brom, Millwall and Bournemouth. They also face Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. If the Terriers can navigate a tricky March then the dream will still be alive.
Whatever happens from here on in, this squad with these players and characters have done us proud and given us as supporters the chance to fall in love with the club once more. They have been the biggest factor to heal the wounds of the recent past.
Thanks, lads, for giving us our club back.