WATCH: Pritchard gets Huddersfield Town off to winning start in pre-season

As reported by Yorkshire Post
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GIGG LANE, with its Cemetery End and squatting floodlights that make the approach from the nearby main road a case of ‘now you see me, now you don’t’, feels a long way removed from the Premier League.

Here, however, is where Huddersfield Town’s preparations for a second season doing battle with the giants of English football last night got under way.

The Terriers’ first outing of pre-season proved to be every bit as low key as the homely surrounds, as goals from Alex Pritchard, Rajiv Van la Parra, Matty Daly and Abdelhamid Sabiri sealed a comfortable 4-0 win over League Two side Bury. It was a useful run-out for Huddersfield as David Wagner fielded a different XI in each half. Michael Hefele made a welcome return in the second half after being forced to sit out last season’s nail-biting run-in due to an Achilles injury that required surgery. Jon Gorenc Stankovic, out for 15 months with a dislocated kneecap before returning to the bench in the closing weeks of 2017-18, also came through the first of two friendlies in Lancashire before the Terriers head to Germany and then Austria.

There is also a home friendly with Ligue 1 side Lyon later this month as the clock ticks down towards the all-important opening day clash with Chelsea on August 11.Survival, of course, was secured against the Blues last May and Wagner has been busy in his quest to ensure Huddersfield once again have what it takes to compete at the top level.Four signings have already been made, including the record capture of Terence Kongolo for £16m from Monaco. The defender joined fellow new arrivals Ben Hamer and Juninho Bacuna in facing Bury last night, Ramadan Sobhi being absent due to an extended holiday following his exertions with Egypt at the World Cup. Also missing were Aaron Mooy, Jonas Lossl and Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen, while Wagner felt the recovery from long-term injury of Danny Williams and Elias Kachunga was best served by a full day’s training rather than facing Bury. Both may return at Accrington Stanley this Saturday.

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagnerat last night’s pre-season friendly at Bury (Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire).

There were plenty of reassuring sights for the few hundred Town fans in a sparse crowd, the lure of France taking on Belgium in Russia keeping many away. Christopher Schindler was calmness personified at the back alongside the ever-commanding Kongolo. Pritchard, like Kongolo a key figure in the club’s push for survival after arriving in January, was also lively throughout and it was fitting that the diminutive midfielder should break the deadlock on 21 minutes by capitalising on a neat pass from Philip Billing.Van la Parra and Sabiri then emphasised Town’s dominance by finding the net from searching Chris Lowe crosses early after the restart before Daly, fresh from helping England Under-17s to the European Championship semi-finals in May, rounded off the scoring 11 minutes from time with a neat volley.

It was a useful run-out for Huddersfield as David Wagner fielded a different XI in each half.

It meant a second consecutive heavy defeat for Bury, who had lost 6-0 to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers in front of more than 40,000 at Ibrox last Friday. Liverpool and Everton are also due at Gigg Lane in the coming week, suggesting someone at the League Two club has a contacts book every bit as impressive as last night’s display had been by Town.