LONDON (Reuters) - New Stoke City manager Paul Lambert has been tasked with saving the club from relegation and his first test comes against Huddersfield Town, who have failed to win any of their last five league matches and slipped down to 14th place.
Here is what the fans have to say about their respective clubs:
Kyle Norbury, blogger, SCFCnerd’s Blog
”I‘m excited about watching Stoke now Paul Lambert is in charge but also very nervous. Huddersfield are a decent side but they have only won once away from home. We are looking to drag ourselves out of trouble and back to where we should be. A win would get us out of the relegation zone given Southampton are expected to lose against Spurs.
”Huddersfield press the ball well and like to get the ball wide. I’ve been impressed with Aaron Mooy in their midfield. He is a very good passer of the ball, so we’ll need to stay tight on him and stop him controlling the game. David Wagner’s main aim is to stay up and they look likely to do so.
”I‘m going for a 2-1 win for Stoke on Saturday. A new manager usually has an instant impact and we’re hoping Lambert can enjoy a honeymoon period with a run of three or four winnable games coming up. Hopefully Lambert can motivate the team and give us a game plan that ensures we concede fewer goals and start winning games.
”A lot of fans were underwhelmed by Lambert’s appointment because he was so far down the pecking order, but it’s difficult to judge his managerial record due to the circumstances of the clubs he has managed. The facts are that he kept the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Wolves up in the last two seasons and has never been relegated as a manager. He isn’t a poor appointment. It’s good that he wants the job and has a point to prove at the top level.
Michelle Rowlands, Huddersfield Town season ticket holder
”Huddersfield were not at their best against West Ham last weekend. We were poor all over the pitch, which is disappointing. Our fixture away to Stoke will be a huge game and we have to pick up all three points, especially with two very tough games coming up at Liverpool and Manchester United in the coming weeks.
”Winning this game against Stoke would keep the pressure off and picking up points from the teams in and around us is essential to have any chance of survival in May.
”I never predict the score for Huddersfield as I don’t want to jinx them, but what I will say is that it is crucial for us to score first. The team seem to gain confidence from scoring first but struggle if they concede and go behind. It will be a close and tense game because both teams are under pressure to get a result.
”Having played every team once, I strongly believe Huddersfield Town are in a better position than the three teams below them and it’s a feeling that is shared among many other Town fans, too. The majority of us are confident that Huddersfield will still be a Premier League team at the end of the season.
”David Wagner has given Huddersfield fans some amazing memories over the last two years and the fans trust him completely. Whenever there’s been any doubt about the team after a few bad results, he’s always turned it around and proved his doubters wrong.
“Bringing in Alex Pritchard this month was a great piece of business by Huddersfield. We have been missing someone that can put a good ball into the box and deliver quality set pieces. The strikers have been short of service and hopefully Pritchard will provide this.”
Editing by Toby Davis