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Should I Stay or Should I Go: What next for Jan Siewert and Huddersfield Town?

What next for Jan Siewert and Huddersfield?
What next for Jan Siewert and Huddersfield?

Defeat to Lincoln on Tuesday night saw Huddersfield among the nine Sky Bet Championship teams to fall at the first hurdle of the Carabao Cup.

While squad selection across the board shows a lack of concern with the competition by second-tier sides, the despondent reaction at full-time from the majority of the 6,908 crowd at the John Smith's Stadium demonstrates why a victory was so important.

It extended Town's winless run to 13 games in all competitions. They crashed out of the Premier League having accumulated just 14% of the points on offer, and their return to life in the Championship has been far from ideal.

It has been 170 days since Huddersfield fans last witnessed a competitive victory. Even worse, it has been 16 months since their last win on a Saturday.

The feeling surrounding those in attendance on Tuesday was one of loyalty as opposed to expectation. Even against lower league opposition, it was hardly a surprise to see the home side on the wrong end of the scoreline.

The blame, as always in football, lies with the man in charge. Jan Siewert's record demonstrates why his position is becoming increasingly untenable after just seven months.

A win percentage of just 5% makes for painful reading - success over Wolves in February being the only time he has tasted victory as Huddersfield manager.

What next, then, for Siewert and his employers?

Our match preview and best bets for Huddersfield v Fulham
Our match preview and best bets for Huddersfield v Fulham

Town are in a period of transition, but if they continue at this rate they risk free-falling down the divisions.

So does he stay or does he go? It's the big decision that Huddersfield face even at this incredibly early point of the current campaign.

We look at some of the talking points surrounding the situation at the club.

Admirable or naive defiance?

Jan Siewert was defiant in his response to Huddersfield's cup defeat
Jan Siewert was defiant in his response to Huddersfield's cup defeat

"Not at all, not at all," was Siewert's response when asked if he'd considered resigning from his position.

"The whole time I have spoken with the board about what is happening. A few days ago, I spoke with the chairman about things and we are on the same page."

Siewert didn't show signs of someone on the verge of departing on Tuesday night.

He's adamant that everyone is on the same page. He's also adamant that he won't walk away but the longer this goes on, the further damage it does to a reputation already at a low point.

There's a lot to like about a coach determined to make things right. However, and apologies for dropping into cliché territory, but it is a results business.

For Huddersfield, the results aren't there. Siewert's determination should be applauded but it's a question of how damaging this spell can get, for both his own reputation and the club's position in the leagues.

Should Wagner have left?

David Wagner has left Huddersfield Town
David Wagner left Huddersfield in January

The easy thing to say when a new manager is failing is "be careful what you wish for" - and that will likely be more prominent for a club like Huddersfield.

The Terriers' fairytale-like promotion under David Wagner was made even better by their survival in their debut campaign in the Premier League.

However, they struggled significantly in their second season. They'd only seen two wins prior to Wagner's departure in January. The relationship had hit a point where change was needed.

For Siewert, it was always going to be a tough task following a head coach who had brought such success to a previously struggling club.

Significant change, such as survival, wasn’t expected by many. What we did want from Huddersfield though was to see signs of improvement. A suggestion that they’d adjust to life back in England’s second tier.

That hasn’t happened.

The fate of the second half of last season had already been sealed by events of the first. A new face, with potentially a new approach was required, although it is looking more like the appointment made at the time was the wrong one.

How long is a period of transition?

Huddersfield players react after being relegated
Huddersfield are in a transition period

There’s no denying that Huddersfield are in a period of transition. They weren’t just relegated from the Premier League, they nosedived out with little fight.

The summer saw plenty of change on and off the field. On it, under Siewert, many of those who were established starters had left.

Philip Billing, Laurent Depoitre, Mathias Jorgensen, Jonas Lossl, Chris Lowe, Aaron Mooy and Tommy Smith have all moved on, while it remains to be seen if Steve Mounie and Rajiv van La Parra will follow with the window still open in other nations.

They’ve gone down the route of sourcing replacements from those young and untested. Josh Koroma and Reece Brown just two examples of the Terriers’ new outlook.

The Huddersfield faithful will acknowledge that. Time is needed to turn wrong into right and a return to the Premier League, if it happens, won’t be any time soon.

What the cup defeat to Lincoln did show is that the diehard supporters – those who will follow their club no matter what – are starting to lose faith. When that happens, a coach is in serious trouble.

Town need a transitional period to sort out those glaring issues on the pitch. Though many will question if Siewert is the right man to guide them through it.

A quick turnaround

Jan Siewert
Jan Siewert's Huddersfield face Fulham on Friday

Siewert will have an understanding of the word Fremdschämen.

In English, it means second-hand embarrassment. The embarrassment you feel when someone else has embarrassed themselves.

Often used to describe that one person everyone seems to know. The David Brents of the world, those whose actions leave you cringing a little.

Some would use Fremdschämen to describe Siewert’s spell at Huddersfield.

The result aren’t arriving and the fans’ patience is running thin. Little has been done to suggest signs of improvement from January.

The midweek cup tie gives even less time for preparation for Fulham’s visit to West Yorkshire on Friday. A side who possess serious firepower and will back themselves for victory as they look to bounce back into the top-flight at the first time of asking.

The loud voices of discontent will only become clearer if that game ends with anything other than three points.

While it may seem like an insignificant game on paper, particularly at this point of the season, it will be a defining point in Siewert’s managerial career.


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