Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan believes the club’s decision re-sign forward Danny Ward in 2020 was a risk well worth taking.
Ward, 31, made only six league starts last season due to injury, but his hat-trick in last week’s 4-3 win at Reading took his tally for the current campaign into double figures.
It also lifted the Terriers back into the Sky Bet Championship play-off places and they are bidding to maintain their promotion challenge on Friday night against Stoke at home.
Ward, who returned for his second spell at Huddersfield in August 2020 after stints at Rotherham and Cardiff, has fired six goals in his last six appearances.
Corberan said: “It’s true that we knew he had a little risk about injury because it was only at Rotherham where he was able to play more than 3,000 minutes, so getting him fit and available to play regularly was a challenge we had.
“I watched him in enough games to understand that he was a striker who could offer many things to the team.
“He can help you to play because he can drop and he can link, but he has the instincts that any striker needs and that is to make movements into the box.”
Ward missed the first two months of last season soon after returning to the John Smith’s Stadium on a free transfer from Cardiff and was dogged by similar issues throughout the 2020/21 campaign.
Corberan said: “I can reflect on how to help a player who has had lots of injuries more, but it has to come from the player because he knows his body.
“I think he’s been adapting better his life to his body to prevent injuries because this season he has not had any injuries and has played a lot of games in a row.”
Corberan has transformed the Terriers in his second season in charge after leaving his role as assistant to Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds to replace Danny Cowley in July 2020.
Huddersfield endured successive relegation battles after dropping out of the Premier League in 2019.
Corberan said his two years alongside Bielsa had been invaluable in helping him turn Huddersfield’s fortunes round.
The 38-year-old Spaniard added: “You can go to the cinema sleeping or you can go to the cinema and watch the film.
“I tried to use that time to learn everything I could from Marcelo, every single thing, from the Leeds’ structure, from the Championship and from the other teams we were facing.
“After this of course it was my time to show that I have learned. If you are working with Bielsa and you don’t learn from one of the best coaches in the world, then you don’t want to learn.”
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.