Huddersfield Town host Crystal Palace at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon – in one of only four Premier League games this weekend due to the FA Cup Quarter Finals fixtures.
Jonathan Hogg spoke to HTTV to preview and discuss the game.
Huddersfield currently sit in 15th place on 31 points – three places and four points above their London rivals. A win for David Wagner’s men will see them move seven points clear of the relegation zone, but they will have a game in hand compared to many teams around them.
Town have “confidence” heading into the crucial clash
When asked what he expects from Roy Hodgson’s side, ‘Hoggy’ said: “I think they will be – look they’re a top team – going forward I think they’re brilliant. Just as good as any other team in the league.”
“With Zaha, Benteke and Townsend and Loftus- Cheek fit now it’s going to be hard for us. We know that, and we need to be switched on for the full ninety minutes and make sure we’re at it, because if we’re not we won’t get anything in this league,” he admitted.
The diminutive midfielder then commented: “Teams have got quality to – when you’re not at 100% - to hurt you and take the points off you.”
The Terriers should take some confidence into the game knowing that they beat the Eagles 3 – 0 in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season, and on this the 29-year-old said:
“I think we’re confident anyway. I think the last five or six performances show that we’re confident. We’re playing with a bit of belief because we’ve got points on the board.”
“I think they’re going to want a bit of revenge after us stuffing them three nil, but its one of them – this stage of the season, everyone’s fighting, everyone wants points on the board,” he continued.
“We need to stick to what we’ve been doing”
On how Town should approach the game he said: “We need to stick to what we’ve been doing. Make sure we’re at it. We’ve got to be on the front foot and high pressing – make sure everyone is 100% and ready to go.”
When asked if he thinks there has been a chance in the way opponents set up against them, Hogg answered:“Not really no."
"I think every team has their own style. If they want to come and press then they’ll come and press – and I think that will suit us more than a team sitting back in their own half, which is hard to break down.”
A similar situation to this happened last week, when Town were held by a defensive ten-man Swansea City.
"We’ve got the quality there to break them down – at the weekend it just didn’t happen for us, so we need to try and work on that and make it right,” he said.
At the start of the season, Palace were managed by Frank de Boer, who was later replaced by Hodgson. When these two teams met in the Carabao Cup, it was one of their first games under their new manager.
“I think Roy has brought to the team that they’re tough to break down, they work harder, good shape, good organisation," Hogg stated.
"I think that it’s going to be one of them games where we’ve got to be patient and when we get a chance we’ve got to take it and make sure we do.”