Huddersfield – a battle in the wind and rain

It can safely be said that Huddersfield did not adapt well to life in The Championship after their one season sojourn in The Premier League. They lost seven of their first eight games and, after a 2-4 thrashing at WBA on 22nd September, they were bottom of the division after and six points from safety.

Jan Siewert had been sacked in mid August. Mark Hudson took over as caretaker until Danny Cowley was recruited from Lincoln City. Eventually, on October 1st, they won their first game (0-1 at Stoke). It was the club's first victory in twenty games.

It looked as if Cowley had begun to turn things around and, when a Karlan Grant goal gave them a 1-0 win at Brentford in early November, they were in a more comfortable fifteenth place and four points clear of the drop zone.

Progress since then has been patchy and, before Tuesday's 2-1 win over Bristol City, they were back in 21st place - just 2 points above the relegation places. That win means that Charlton will arrive at The John Smiths Stadium one place above the home team on goal difference but conscious of the fact that they have already been beaten seven times at home this season.

Lee Bowyer observed this week that "they have good players and they shouldn't be down there but they are". With Karlan Grant, Steve Mounie,  Fraizer Campbell, Trevoh Chalobah and Juninho Bacuna in the squad, they really shouldn't be in difficulties and they strengthened in January by signing goalkeeper  Jonas Lossl back on loan from Everton and Chris Willock on loan from Benfica.

It is now four years since our last game up there but, for those who were there, it will take plenty more years to scorch the memory. It was Tuesday 12th January 2016 when we lamely submitted to a 5-0 beating and Reza Ghoochannejhad, having come on as a 62nd minute substitute, was sent off twenty five minutes later for two yellow cards in the space of a minute. Charlton fans leaving the stadium reasoned that it surely couldn't get any worse and they were right until four days later when Hull demolished us 6-0.

Charlton's performance at Hillsborough on Wednesday evening came within thirty seconds of being seen as plucky and resourceful and worthy of a hard earned point. The fact that Wigan, Luton, Barnsley and Huddersfield all gained three points during the week meant that that late Fletcher goal was seen by many as a total disaster. If Alan Curbishley was in his grave he would be spinning. His lesson never to get too high after a win or too low after a defeat is in danger of being ignored. Let's not forget that Nottingham Forest was only just over two weeks ago and it followed a dismal performance at Stoke.

Saturday's game will be another tough one, especially as Tom Lockyer will miss the game through suspension and Naby Sarr might not be available. A scrappy point in difficult conditions would be very welcome. Also welcome would be the absence of any of the moronic abuse of Karlan Grant which was in evidence at The Valley in December.