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Moore picks up on Warnock's abandoned farewell tour - Interview
Thursday, 19th Oct 2023 13:54 by Clive Whittingham

The sixteenth annual Neil Warnock Farewell Tour didn't make its Christmas dates, and Darren Moore is now the man charged with making sure Huddersfield aren't one of the three teams worse than QPR. We spoke to Brady Frost from the And He Takes That Chance Podcast.

Talk us through Huddersfield's season so far?

Mixed as usual. It was a tough start, going away to the League One winners Plymouth in their first game back in the Championship, and then Leicester, Middlesbrough and Norwich in the first month. Then, we put in a great performance against West Brom, beat Rotherham easily but then we’re told Neil Warnock’s leaving and we draw 2-2 in his last game (for now) against Stoke. Since then Darren Moore’s come in and we’ve drawn three and lost one so a bit of a strange start to the season.

Huddersfield in the league so far…
Plymouth 3-1 Huddersfield Whittaker 6, Mumba 73, Hardie 76 – Helik 45
Huddersfield 0-1 Leicester Mavididi 73
Boro 1-1 Huddersfield Hackney 61 – Fry og 47
Huddersfield 0-4 Norwich Sargent 11, Barnes pen 17, Rowe 48, Idah 84
West Brom 1-2 Huddersfield Swift 52 – Burgzorg 33, Rudoni 90
Huddersfield 2-0 Rotherham Koroma 18, Thomas 70
Huddersfield 2-2 Stoke Pearson 31, Rudoni 68 – Johnson 33, Wilmot 62
Coventry 1-1 Huddersfield Ayari 27 – Helik 90
Huddersfield 1-1 Ipswich Burgzorg 61 – Williams 87
Birmingham 4-1 Huddersfield Dembele 3, 64, Miyoshi 23, James 90 – Helik 90
Sheff Wed 0-0 Huddersfield

It felt like a very odd decision to let Warnock's latest rescue mission continue into a full season, what did you think of that decision and how did it go?

Cards on the table, I didn’t want Neil Warnock this summer. That’s not because he didn’t do a fantastic job last season, he did, he transformed a miserable side and made them finish 18th and he deserves all the credit in the world and has cemented his name in Huddersfield Town folklore forever. This is a new era for the club with new ownership and ideally, I wanted a long-term appointment to match but the timing’s the strangest.

The new hierarchy have said it’s because they’ve made the appointments they needed behind the scenes and we’re now stable and Warnock has brought us stability on the pitch. I’m not sure about that last point, the squad’s weak and we’re only four points off the relegation zone at the time of writing. I understand Darren Moore wasn’t available when we asked Warnock to stay on but it’s asking a lot to follow someone who did a great job with limited resources, it’s not often a manager comes in after the previous one has done well.

What do you make of Darren Moore as a replacement? What has he changed and done so far?

Darren Moore is one of the good guys in football and the community aspect is really important to a club like Huddersfield Town. He’s done that well in the past, so in that sense I think it’s a perfect marriage. Football is a results business though and some fans are still struggling with the replacement given the job Neil Warnock was doing. Ultimately, I think most fans are happy with this move if he arrives in the summer but coming into the club in September is always going to be a bit jarring. Personally, I had my doubts but we did a deep dive speaking to fans of the clubs he’s managed in the past and journalists who’ve covered those clubs and it did change my mind. If he’s backed by the new ownership, it could be a welcome change from our ‘underdogs’ mentality but for him to succeed, he needs his own team as our squad is one of the weakest in the league in my opinion.

And the new owners who've come in this summer, what can you tell us there?

Our new owner, Kevin Nagle, is very active online. He was recently arguing with Leeds fans on X/Twitter and he’s made a YouTube documentary series on the club channel about his takeover, so it’s slightly different to the English way of doing things but he’s getting to the grips with the game in England and he’s admitted that himself. He’s said a lot of good things, improving the matchday experience and we’ve seen that in the changes he’s made already and wants to improve the stadium which it surely needs and this is very positive and in my opinion, much needed. Of course, when you get a new owner in, people want to see owners flex their financial muscles and bring in better players and we’ve not seen enough of that yet. There’s valid reasons for that, but slow building isn’t sexy and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about the quality of the current squad over the Championship season.

Summer transfer window looked... limited, troubled, Warnock didn't seem happy. Talk us through your ins and outs, what was done, what needed doing?

A free agent second-choice goalkeeper, a right back on loan from Stoke, a midfielder from Rotherham and a winger on loan from Mainz 05. It doesn’t sound riveting does it? However, Ben Wiles, the said midfielder, and Delano Burgzorg, the winger, are good additions that were needed and have shown glimpses that they can be an upgrade on what we currently have. The club and then manager Neil Warnock discussed how a striker was one of the key priorities in the summer transfer window and then before you know it, the window shut with no striker. Like the majority of the clubs in the league that struggle, we need someone to score goals but we also need someone who’s got a good final ball, so hopefully we can strike gold in the loan market like we did with Emile Smith Rowe a few years ago.

Ins >>> Ben Wiles, 24, CM, Rotherham, Undisclosed >>> Chris Maxwell, 32, GK, Blackpool, Free >>> Tom Edwards, 24, RB, Stoke, Free >>> Delano Burgzorg, 24, LW, Mainz

Outs >>> Etienne Camara, 20, DM, Udinese, £1.8m >>> Ryan Schofield, 23, GK, Pompey, Free >>> Matty Daly, 22, AM, Harrogate, Free >>> Romoney Crichlaw, 24, CB, Peterborough, Free >>> Danny Grant, 23, RW, Bohemians, Free >>> Duane Holmes, 28, AM, Preston, Undisclosed >>> Will Boyle, 27, CB, Wrexham, Undisclosed >>> Nicholas Bilokapic, 20, GK, Peterborough, Undisclosed >>> Tyreece Simpson, 21, CF, Northampton, Loan >>> Tomas Vaclik, 34, GK, New England Rev, Free >>> Florian Kamberi, 28, CF, Released >>> Rolando Aarons, 27, LW, Released >>> Scott High, 22, CM, Ross County, Loan >>> Jordan Rhodes, 33, CF, Blackpool, Loan >>> Connor Mahoney, 26, RW, Gillingham, Loan >>> Kieran Phillips, 23, CF, Shrewsbury, Loan >>> Tyreece Simpson, 21, CF, Northampton, Loan >>> Aaron Rowe, 21, RB, Crewe, Loan >>> Brodie Spencer, 19, RB, Motherwell, Loan

Strong points and weak links in the team?

Town have only scored two or more goals in three league games this season and arrive at the October international break with a minus-seven goal difference. Their top scorer so far is Michał Helik with three goals. That’s only two off last season’s joint top scorers. We’re not exactly prolific, so that’s a weak link. The strong point, I would say is our probably our defence, strangely. Lee Nicholls is one of the best ‘keepers in the division and Matty Pearson and Michał Helik are decent defenders for us. Josh Koroma and Sorba Thomas are your typical wingers who blow hot and cold but when they’re hot, it’s a joy to see. We’re your classic lower-end Championship team at the moment, don’t score many but are competitive in most games.

Look, we're QPR, we're looking for three worse teams than our fucktastrophe, are you one of them? We're hoping so. What are your expectations for the rest of the season under Moore?

Hopefully, our fucktastrophe was last season with everything before Neil Warnock. By all talk and rumours, the impression I’m getting is that I think we’ll limp to January and then the board will back their man and allow him to improve the team and we’ll see an improvement. We ended up finishing 18th last season on 53 points and I’d be surprised if we did much better than that, we’re fortunate that there’s three worse teams in the league this season. Again. I enjoy doing these for you mate but I feel like Huddersfield Town make me point out the same struggles over and over again. Hopefully next season, we both have something more positive with our respective teams.

Links >>> Official website >>> Ground Guide >>> Down at the Mac — Forum >>> And he Takes That Chance — Podcast

The Twitter @brady0894, @takesthatchance, @loftforwords

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TacticalR added 14:12 - Oct 21
Thanks to Brady.

That's an interesting point that most managers don't normally have to follow a manager who has done well.

Huddersfield used to be one of those Championship teams that never seemed to have any problem staying in the division. At the moment there are some distinct similarities with QPR, especially when it comes to goal-scoring.

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