Is Rhys Healey The Answer To Huddersfield Town’s Survival? – Opinion

Heading into stoppage time on Saturday, Championship strugglers Huddersfield Town were on course for a seventh straight game without a win and for consecutive draws at the hands of relegation rivals in the space of a week. In the game’s dying embers they needed someone to step up – enter Rhys Healey. 

A cagey affair throughout, Andre Breitenreiter’s side struggled to breakdown a stubborn Millwall outfit, who like Stoke City on Easter Monday, were focused on holding the Terriers to a stalemate, to prevent the West Yorkshire outfit from closing the gap on themselves in the relegation battle.

Anything other than three points on Saturday would’ve been disastrous for Town, who need wins if they’re to survive the drop, so Healey’s last-gasp winner brought a great sense of relief. It could be a huge moment in the context of the season for both Huddersfield and Millwall.

A major issue for the Terriers this season has been goals, with the West Yorkshire outfit holding one of the poorest goal-scoring records in the division. They looked to rectify that in the January transfer window by splashing cash on attacking duo Bojan Radulovic and the aforementioned Healey.

While the Radulovic signing matches Huddersfield’s recruitment policy fairly well (young and with scope for development), the Healey signing raised eyebrows with the Terriers spending a considerable sum on a man who will turn 30 at the end of 2024. Having spent just six months at Watford, where he failed to hit the heights that he’d previously attained in France, they club reached a deal with the fellow Championship outfit to bring him to West Yorkshire. A roll of the dice to bring some much-needed goals to the John Smith’s Stadium.

Dubbed a ‘proven goalscorer’ by Sporting Director Mark Cartwright, expectations were high for the attacker after his move to West Yorkshire. Sadly, an injury in just his third outing hindered his progress immediately and prevented him from making an instant impact on his new stomping ground.

In his absence, which spanned eight games, Town took just two wins and his return to the fold after the recent international break brought great relief to the Huddersfield camp. In those three games since, the 29-year-old has settled to the task and has bagged two goals, with strikes against Coventry City and Millwall. While the former proved to be nothing more than a consolation, the latter could be the Terriers’ biggest goal of the season. Its importance cannot be understated and it felt like a massive moment for both player and Club.

Those two goals will surely boost Healey’s confidence, who, is looking to embark on a successful career with his new club. It’s also worth noting that the goals have come while he’s still building towards full fitness, with his recent outings all coming from the bench. Tuesday’s trip to Preston North End could provide the striker with a return to the Starting XI and buoyed by his recent goal-scoring form, he could play a pivotal role midweek.

After Saturday’s welcome result, Breitenreiter’s side are back out of the bottom three, with their fate back in their own hands for the final five games of the Championship season. From a Huddersfield perspective, Healey seems to have found his goalscoring touch at the perfect time and if he can maintain the standard he’s shown over the last 10 days, he could be the one to fire the the club to another season of Championship Football.

Huddersfield have been holding out for a hero in the run-in, perhaps Rhys Healey could be that man. Certainly, if the last three games are anything to go by.

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