Inside The John Smith's Stadium

Thursday 20 April 2017 11:30

Huddersfield Town fan Gary Haigh discusses a wonderful season for his side, and what it’s like to have Fulham hero Rob Wilson as a father-in-law.

How did you come to be a Huddersfield supporter?

My Dad took me to my first game when I was five-years-old. It ended 0-0 but ever since then I have been hooked. I believe that it is important to support your local team and you just have to enjoy the trials and tribulations, of which Huddersfield have had plenty.

Who have been your favourite players over the years?

The two favourites for me have been Andy Booth and Barry Horne. Boothy is a legend for all Town fans and is our third highest scorer in the club’s history after two spells. He was also a major player in the 1994/95 promotion team. Horne was a class act when he came to us in 1997. He could control the midfield and was a real leader during his time with the club. I was a little too young to remember Rob at Town so unfortunately he didn’t make the cut.

How much have you enjoyed this season? Has it come as a surprise?

This season has been unbelievable for us, and after being in relegation battles ever since we were promoted to the Championship it’s nice to have a different type of stress. There wouldn’t be one fan who could have expected how well we have done this season. The whole club has had a culture change with the style of football, and the atmosphere in the ground has changed dramatically. David Wagner and Dean Hoyle have done so much for the club over the last 18 months to put us in the position we are in currently.

What style of play can we expect to see from Huddersfield?

Huddersfield like to play possession football with a high intensity which is quite similar to Fulham’s style I think. We like to play it out from the back and build up the attack from the wing.

Who have been your standout players?

It’s hard just to pick a couple as the whole team have stepped up this season. Our three loan players Aaron Mooy (Man City), Kasey Palmer and Izzy Brown (both Chelsea) have been outstanding and it’s not a coincidence that our drop in form coincided with injuries to both Palmer and Brown. Luckily they will be back for the final weeks of the season, which is a big boost. For me the standout player has to be Jonathan Hogg as his work rate and reading of the game has been fantastic. His efforts can sometimes go unnoticed but that work has allowed the other midfielders much more freedom and space.

Which Fulham players do you think could cause you problems?

Obviously Ryan Sessegnon has been one of your standout players and I have been impressed with Tom Cairney as a lot of the play goes through him when I have seen Fulham this season.

Considering how well your season has gone, the 5-0 at Craven Cottage must have come as a bit of a shock?

That was a tough result to take, especially with the family connection to Fulham. I could have no arguments with the result that day, we simply did not turn up and Fulham played very well. We have had a couple of games like that this season. Most of the time in those it’s not just a couple of players who go missing, it’s usually the whole team which is obviously not ideal.

What's it like having a Fulham favourite for a father-in-law?

I know that Rob is a real hero at Fulham, and Adam (son), Natalie (daughter) and Tommy (grandson) are all big Fulham fans which is great to see. We do have good banter during the season but we all respect the love we have for our teams. If we are playing each other tensions can get a bit high but after the final whistle we have a drink together. Obviously after the 5-0 loss at Craven Cottage I had to endure a little bit more stick than usual. Hopefully we can both meet in the final at Wembley and at least one side of the family can enjoy Premier League football next season.

How do you see Saturday's game going?

I hope it will be a little tighter than the last game, both teams need to win to keep the Play-Off momentum going. I am sure it will be end to end and we will see attacking football from both sides. I would definitely say that Fulham have the better form going into the game but at this stage of the season anything can happen.

Where's a good place for away fans to get a drink beforehand?

The Boy and Barrel is the dedicated away supporters pub which is only a 10 minute walk to the ground and can create a good atmosphere for the fans before the game.

What score prediction are you going for?

I am predicting a 2-2 draw which would probably be a better result for Huddersfield than Fulham as the table stands, but I think both teams will pile everything forward for an entertaining game.

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