Former Sunderland midfielder Dean Whitehead says that the Huddersfield players ‘still believe’ they can get automatic promotion.

There is no getting away from the fact that Newcastle United have caused many of their own problems in these past 11 days.

However, it would have been very cruel if Monday had seen that gap close to five points between the Magpies and the Terriers.

Huddersfield took a ninth minute lead but that was their only effort on target all game and the final overall shot count was ten for Derby and two for the visitors.

Just because the Rams scored with only two minutes to go doesn’t count as lucky, it was rather Huddersfield who almost fluked it with a very negative game plan.

After conceding six goals and picking up no points away at relegation strugglers Bristol City and Forest in their last two away matches, Dean Whitehead admits that they had simply a plan of sitting deep and trying not to give Derby any chances.

Attempting to frustrate Derby and relying on that one shot on target to get all three points.

Next up Huddersfield have Fulham at home on Saturday before Newcastle play Preston at home on Monday.

Anything but a win for David Wagner’s team would mean a Rafa victory against Preston would send Newcastle up.

Here’s hoping.

Dean Whitehead speaking to the Huddersfield Examiner:

“We still believe.

“We have got a strong dressing room, it’s positive and we will fight to the end and see where it takes us.

“We’ll try to win every game that we’ve got left and see if it’s enough.

“Our confidence is high, we haven’t lost any belief at any point in the season and we showed we’ve got spirit and togetherness.

“We have plans and we try to stick to that.

“We are disappointed straight after the game to concede an equaliser but we’ll be positive tomorrow and work on getting a result at the weekend.

“I think every weekend in the Championship is big but as the season rolls on towards the end they get bigger.

“We looked at the last couple of away games and we conceded too many chances and too many goals so we came here with a deeper shape and we tried to frustrated them, which we did.

“We came here with a game plan for a long period of the game we frustrated them and didn’t concede any chances really.

“We’re just disappointed we didn’t see it out in the final few minutes.”

  • Paul Patterson

    Well he’s not wrong, they can catch us. They won’t, but they can . .

    • Whickhamrobbie

      won,t they ? we are the Toon nothing comes easy but i hope your right

  • TheTradge

    If the terriers lose and we win, that doesn’t guarantee promotion, a) they have a game in hand, and b) Reading could well win to keep up the pressure!

    • Lord

      If we win any of our last 3 (or draw all 3), then Reading can’t catch us due to goal difference even if they win all their games.

      If we win and Huddersfield lose or draw any of their remaining 4 games, then they can’t catch us either as they’d need 12 points to get past 88; 10 points will see them tying on 88 but losing on goal difference. That Derby goal was massive for us but I still see Huddersfield stumbling on a few of their remaining games.

      If anything, Reading look more likely to close out the season with a strong run.

      • TheTradge

        Reading have perhaps the most favourable run of fixtures out of our main promotion rivals, Wigan at home, Burton and Forest away, so yeah they’re most likely to catch us IMO, however that’s only if we dont pick up another point from our last 3 matches, I’d say a win on Monday would just about secure us promotion because I don’t think Huddersfield will win their next 4 matches.

  • Whickhamrobbie

    they can catch us on current form .

  • toonterrier

    How can someone who has played for Sunderland be called a star. Most of their team come from planet zero and are more comfortable with their heads in the clouds.

  • HappyToons

    Two home draws and a defeat at Cardiff is current form.