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Carlos Corberan turns to Marcelo Bielsa in a bid to lift Huddersfield

Carlos Corberan (right) has turned to Marcelo Bielsa (left) in his quest to get Huddersfield promoted (PA)
Carlos Corberan (right) has turned to Marcelo Bielsa (left) in his quest to get Huddersfield promoted (PA)

Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan says he has taken advice from Marcelo Bielsa before Sunday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final against Nottingham Forest.

Corberan spent two seasons as a member of Bielsa’s first-team coaching staff at Leeds before being appointed head coach at Huddersfield in July 2020.

Town head coach Corberan, who revealed Bielsa had watched his side’s semi-final win against Luton, said: “The best advice that he gave me is to have analysed the (Forest) team with me over the past few weeks.

“Sometimes as a coach you cannot give any particular advice. I was learning a lot after having two years with him, facing a similar situation.

“It’s not with words. I’ve learned a lot from Marcelo with his behaviours and it’s true in some moments we talk about the team, how we see things, the players, the levels. That’s all, but it’s a lot.

“Always, I feel his support from the beginning when I started to coach (at Huddersfield). The support is that someone wants the best for you, so he has given the best to me.”

Huddersfield stand one game away from an unlikely return to the Premier League having been relegated in 2019 following a remarkable turnaround under Corberan this season.

Marcelo Bielsa file photo
Carlos Corberan worked with Marcelo Bielsa, pictured, at Leeds (Gareth Copley/PA)

They finished third in the table, six points behind the automatic promotion places, and booked their place at Wembley after beating Luton 2-1 on aggregate in the play-off semi-finals.

After narrowly avoiding the drop to League One since relegation from the top flight, the Terriers were tipped to struggle again this season.

Corberan said: “I didn’t think we were one of the favourites to go down. I believed a lot in our squad and it’s a different squad to last year.

“The number of players we’ve had since pre-season is completely the opposite of last year, and every player has experience and minutes in their legs even if it’s at a lower league.

“My expectation was only to be competitive in every football game. Sometimes we haven’t, sometimes we have.

Huddersfield Town v West Bromwich Albion – Sky Bet Championship – John Smith’s Stadium
Matty Pearson is a fitness doubt for Huddersfield (Barrington Coombs/PA)

“It’s very hard to be perfect in every minute of every game, but even when the team hasn’t played at the level we want they’d have a very competitive mentality.”

Apart from defender Matty Pearson, who is not expected to recover in time from a knee injury, Corberan has a fully-fit squad to choose from and with that, several selection dilemmas.

Corberan added: “Right now I think the positive thing of the team is that every player is ready.

“I have to make some unfair decisions like always because I can only select 16 outfielders plus two keepers.

“It’s not going to be easy for me because some of the players who will not be involved are good enough that they could start the game, so it’s some hard conversations.”