Team News: Huddersfield Town
Watch Javi Gracia's pre-match press conference above, no sign-up required, or read on below.
By Kevin Affleck
Javi Gracia says he has complete faith in all of his players as he prepares to embrace the difficult challenge of picking the starting XI for the game against Huddersfield on Saturday.
The Head Coach said that although Sebastian Prödl is definitely out and that Troy Deeney and Nathaniel Chalobah have trained away from the main group this week, he will relish the task of deciding whether to stick with the same XI who performed so impressively against Wolverhampton Wanderers or whether to restore the previously suspended José Holebas and Christian Kabasele to the team.
“I am confident in all of them,” he said. “The problem is to choose only 11. They can know, they can feel that I trust them, that if they don't start, they can do what Andre Gray did. He came on and helped the team a lot. That is the mentality.”
The Head Coach said picking from a large pool of fit and hungry players is not something he will be losing sleep over. It's the prospect of not having enough players to select from that would keep him awake.
“I am in the same situation from the beginning,” Gracia said. “All the players always have played very well in all competitions. In this moment, I always have to choose the first XI but it's not a problem for me – I have different options. The problem for me is to have six players out of the squad, that's the problem. I want all of them ready, all of them fit. It's not a problem to have different options.”
Kabasele will certainly come straight back into the matchday squad as Prödl is out with a leg problem he picked up just 13 minutes after coming on as a substitute against Wolves.
“We have Daryl Janmaat, Tom Cleverley and Sebastian Prödl out of the squad,” confirmed Gracia.
The Head Coach did not definitely rule out Deeney and Chalobah, preferring instead to see how they respond to individual training tomorrow.
“Troy and Nathaniel are working out of the team on their own,” said Gracia. “We'll see tomorrow if they can help us or not. At this moment they are training out of the team.”
Deeney is struggling with a hamstring problem he picked up in training the week after the Bournemouth game.
“We thought maybe he would be ready for the Wolverhampton game, but at the end he wasn't available and now this week he is working out of the team again,” said Gracia. “He is working and we'll see as we have another day.”
Chalobah is working hard to recover from a knee problem he picked up on the fields of the training ground at London Colney after making his debut for England. His knee was put in a brace as a precaution and he was immediately ruled out of the game against Wolves, but Gracia said the injury is not cause for alarm and he does not expect him to be out long term.
“I have doubt [he will be available for this weekend],” he said. “We don't know at this moment if we will arrive or not. In the first training session [after international duty] he felt a little pain in his right knee and a ligament problem. It is a small problem, but I am confident if he is not available for this game, he will be available for the next week or the one after that. It's nothing serious.”