Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has urged Huddersfield Town to “have a right go” in their final six Premier League matches after the disappointing defeat to Newcastle United.
Ayoze Perez netted with ten minutes left on the clock for the Magpies, with the home side dominating in terms of possession and chances for large portions of the match.
Town have “got to go for it”
The Terriers had to settle for just 37% possession on Tyneside, and Merson would have liked the visitors to have put more pressure and had more of a go against their fellow promoted side, rather than sit defensively in hope of securing a point.
After the game, he said: “Today they went out saying ‘lets not get beat here and if we don’t get beat we’ve still got Newcastle in our sights' – you’ve got to go for it now.”
“You’ve got to go for it – don’t go out with a whimper,” he urged.
He then continued: “Have a right go and push forward because they’ve [Huddersfield] got players who can hurt you – if they have a go and get forward, but they just isolate players.”
Huddersfield face Arsenal at home in the final game of the season, and with the Europa League final scheduled for just three days later, this clash could be at the perfect time for the hosts if the Gunners are able to progress that far
“You look at the Arsenal game and who knows – hopefully, Arsenal will be in the Europa League final, so you just never know about the timing,” said the former Arsenal man turned pundit.
Huddersfield have something “missing”
When commenting generally on the Terrier’s style of play, Merson said: “I don’t know the way they play, to be honest.”
“I look at them and think ‘you’ve got no pace’,” he added.
Merson thinks that manager David Wagner should have included winger Tom Ince in his starting XI, as he commented:
“Newcastle were going to come at you, and you need pace, and they didn’t have the pace. They had [Rajiv] van la Parra on one side, who was very good, but you just needed that pace on the other side.”
“I just think there’s something missing with them.”
Huddersfield would have been happy to be at this stage at the start of the season
Despite the criticism, Merson believes that if the fans knew this is the position Town would have been in at this point at the beginning of the season, they would have been happy.
“If you’d have said to Huddersfield at the start of the season ’31 games gone and you’re going to be out of the bottom three with two teams that can’t buy a win at the moment below you – bar West Brom who are relegated’ – you’d be more than happy,” he said.
Stoke City and Southampton currently fill the other two places in the relegation zone, and with both having difficult run-ins ahead, the Terriers will be hoping their poor forms continue, and that they stay in the dreaded drop- zone.
Merson said: “You’re going to ask Stoke and Southampton that question if you get that win – you’ve just got to get that win.”
However, he then concluded: “I look at Huddersfield play and I see the other teams around them getting a shock result – I can’t see Huddersfield getting a shock result and that is the problem.”