Southampton are looking to get out a rut whilst Huddersfield continues to prod along as they surprisingly sit one place ahead in the standings. Needless to say, it is a big game heading into the busy festive fixtures.
We once again grabbed Duncan Foster, who is currently directing ITV’s Emmerdale. Duncan is a life-long Terriers fan and has had the privilege of working on popular programmes Coronation Street and World’s End.
St Mary’s Musings: We’re sure you’ve had a busy schedule - But have you been able to get down to many home games and has there been a memorable moment in the season thus far?
Duncan Foster: I’ve been to about half of the home games. The highlight has to be beating Manchester United. When we scored the first I thought, “At least we have scored.” Then we got a second and really United did nothing till the 75th minute. A great day.
SMM: What about David Wagner makes him a perfect fit for Huddersfield?
DF: He makes the budget work, never moans and thinks “outside the box”. He has the whole ground singing at home games and there is a real bond between players and fans. It’s down to him.
SMM: Who on Huddersfield has surprised you in terms of how they’ve adjusted to the Premier League?
DF: Christopher Schindler has been superb. Laurent Depoitre who cost around £3-million is a really good striker. Getting him for that price has to be a surprise. The standard of referring isn’t as good as I thought it would be. John Moss was so far behind play (Everton v Swansea) the other night he gave a penalty that he shouldn’t have. Video replays will come into the game. I don’t know why they just don’t get on with it.
SMM: From the last time we talked it has been full speed ahead for Huddersfield. Can fans believe how the Terriers have taken to life in the Premier League and have expectations changed now?
DF: Expectations haven’t changed. Survival is the goal, but we have no limits. You can easily lose four or five games on the trot in the blink of eye. We have to remain realistic.
SMM: What do you think has allowed Huddersfield to have so much success to this point in the season?
DF: Hard work and desire both on the pitch and in the stands. Our supporters sing all the game. We win,draw and lose together. The Players got a standing ovation when we lost 5-0 at Arsenal. The Arsenal fans had already left and couldn’t be bothered to applaud their team. I hope they miss out on the Champions League.
SMM: When we first spoke you said Aaron Mooy would be worth £30-million by Christmas. Has he become a player whose value and appeal has skyrocketed?
DF: Like all our players he is adapting well. Playing for Australia has effected him at times; the long travelling. I could see against Watford he looked sharper. International games are a pain. As England fans we lost faith in ours after the last abject failure.
SMM: It was a goalless draw when Southampton and Huddersfield met earlier this season. Who will be most crucial on Huddersfield to ensure they grab all three points?
DF: The whole team team have to perform. Hogg is suspended (another appalling decision — even the clueless MOTD “experts” agreed) and we will miss him. Danny Williams has been unlucky to miss out a few times. He will come in. I hope he takes his chance.
SMM: A question about your time on set. Who either on Corrie and now Emmerdale do you enjoy talking football with? Or does it tend to be strictly business?
DF: On both shows there are a lot Manchester United fans — Marlon and Pete on Emmerdale and Tyrone and Kirk on Corrie. I had such fun after we beat them. Some still try and avoid me at work. There are also a few Manchester City fans (I’m not naming them...) and all though it pains me to say it, they are untouchable. A great team.
SMM: Finally, a prediction?
DF: I’m going for a draw. There wasn’t much between the teams earlier in the season. 1-1.