Scott Malone ensures that there is a run of winnable games ahead of Huddersfield Town, and that they must collect points from these games if they are to survive in the Premier League.
He also discusses Huddersfield’s togetherness, the Bournemouth game and their next fixture.
The left-back was involved in Huddersfield’s 4 – 1 win over Bournemouth last weekend – a victory which same them regain their league place outside of the relegation zone.
Huddersfield are “well in the fight” ahead of “favourable” matches
Six of the Terrier’s next seven games are against teams in and around them in the league, and Malone believes that his side have a good chance of winning and picking up vita points from many of them, as he said:
“I think the boss touched on it, we have had a run of tricky fixtures lately and apart from playing Spurs at Wembley, the other games we have coming up are favourable.”
Swansea City’s recent upturn in form is something the 26-year-old looked at as a comparison, saying: “There are winnable ties coming up for sure – look at what Swansea have done in the last few games. They have picked up something like fourteen points from their last seven games.”
“As long as we keep picking up points and make sure you’re at least fourth bottom in the league come the end of the season, then you will survive,” he commented.
The ex- Fulham player says he has never seen the Premier League table as close as it currently is – with only 11 points separating 10th and 20th – and so, he believes the survival battle is still very much within Town’s reach.
He said: “It’s in our hands now – if we can pick up the points we need in the games we have coming up I think we’ll be okay.”
Malone goes on to admit that the Terriers have been struggling for points recently, in which they went on a run of five successive league defeats, as he said: “Wins have been hard to come by of late. Everyone knew that we would have a tricky spell.”
The Premier League debutants had a good start to the season, picking up seven points from their first three games, and conceding no goals.
This has proved to be the initial building blocks on their trip to survival. “We built up a good points total at the start of the season which has helped us stay in there,” Malone added.
“I haven’t see a table as tight before, but then again we haven’t seen a team like Manchester City before either. Every season is different and we are now well in the fight – before the game [Bournemouth] we were in the bottom three and we aren’t now,” he said.
Huddersfield “believe they can pick up the points”
Malone has admitted that the West Yorkshire side have to be realistic by saying: “We aren’t going to be naïve. We knew that we weren’t going to win a few games on the bounce at some point.”
The Tuesday prior to the win over the Cherries, Huddersfield travelled to St. Andrew’s to face Birmingham in the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay, in which the Terrier’s came out victorious with another 4 – 1 score line.
“I think Tuesday against Birmingham in the cup was massive – it stopped the rot. Now to start this next six or seven game spell with a win is excellent,” he said.
The left- back insists that a key factor if Town are to stay up is the togetherness between all the staff, players and fans.
“We know what we can do as a group. We have known all along that we could turn our form around. Look at what we were doing at the start of the season – we were very good,” he admitted.
Malone then went on to say: “Look at the togetherness and team spirit this team has and what it carried over from last season and I don’t think anyone would expect anything different from this team.
“It all about us now in the next seven games. We believe we can pick up the points. The belief has always been there, but we know we have good enough players to go and win games,” he said.
The Englishman then added: “What is the point going into a game thinking you’’ lose it? That just isn’t in our squad and we need to keep thinking that way moving forward.”
Huddersfield took their chances against the Cherries
When reflecting on the win over their seaside rivals, Malone said he was particularly impressed with striker Steve Mounié, as he chased everything down and managed to get on the scoresheet.
On the Benin international he said: “He was brilliant. He’s a handful, and both are strikers have been great all season. They work hard and defend from the front and that’s what you need to do when you’re a team like us.”
Malone then added: “He put himself about and took his two [one was later classified as an own goal] extremely well and I’m really pleased for him.”
The attacking minded defender then said: “We have taken our chances. In the past sometimes we haven’t taken them and then gone onto lose the game, but against Bournemouth we were clinical.”
Huddersfield will play with “freedom” against Mourinho’s men
Huddersfield are next in action on Saturday evening as they face Manchester United in the FA Cup Fifth Round at the John Smith’s Stadium.
This will be the third time the two teams have met this season. The first, in which was a 2 -1 home win for David Wagner’s men, but the Red Devils wouldn’t be beaten twice as they produced a 2 – 0 win themselves at Old Trafford.
Malone insists the West Yorkshire side will be out to get the last laugh, saying: “Winning breeds confidence – that’s now two in a row and hopefully we can go on to get more. We now take a break from the league and we’ve got a big game.
“We want to go and beat them again. We want a good cup run and we want to go and play with the freedom of thinking we don’t have three points to pay for,” he added.