Mark Hudson, the Bluebirds captain who led Cardiff City to the Championship title in 2013, returns to South Wales intent on piling more misery on Neil Warnock’s team.
Hudson is now caretaker head coach of Championship rivals Huddersfield Town, who play at Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday, and he says: “We’re there to take the points.”
Warnock and his players are focused on bouncing back strongly from their 3-0 defeat at Reading on Sunday and there are likely to be team changes with Isaac Vassell hoping to start.
Hudson, who is set to give former City forward Fraizer Campbell his Huddersfield debut, aims to make an impact in the first fixture since manager Jan Siewert’s departure.
“I was at Cardiff five and a half years,” he says. “I hope it’s a good reception, but that’s by-the-by. Once the game kicks off, we’re there to take the points.
“I watched City at Reading and it wasn’t the sort of performance you expect from a Neil Warnock side. I know that they’ll be right up for it at home on Wednesday.
“It’s a tough place to go, but we’ll focus on ourselves and what we can try and do to achieve points out of the game. We have an idea and it’s down to us on the pitch.
“It’s a situation we have to enjoy. We have to look at each other in the eye, be honest with it.”
Huddersfield’s run of four wins in 54 competitive matches has taken a toll, not just on former head coaches David Wagner and Jan Siewert, but also on the playing squad who remain at the John Smith’s Stadium.
They have taken one point from the first three Championship fixtures following relegation from the Premier League.
“Look at the squad, look at what we have in the dressing room – that’s a positive,” said Hudson.
“Our squad is capable of winning many, many games this season and that’s a big, big positive.
“They are all in high spirits and looking forward to the Cardiff game. It’s a massive positive we have 24 fit and able players to choose from.
“Nobody is missing. Everyone is fit and available.”
“Our situation hurts because it has been going on quite a while and it’s painful, but we want to eradicate that feeling with the opportunity to win points.
“That’s why we have to show intensity and intent and play with energy. We all, like the fans, want to get back into that mindset of winning games.”
Hudson left Cardiff to join Huddersfield 2014 was part of their squad promoted to the Premier League at the end of 2017-18 and says about his new role at the club: “I’m enjoying it and will put my stamp on things.
“The players have been receptive, they’ve worked hard, and there is a clear message of what we’ll do in the game.
“We’re in this business to win games. We’ll go into Wednesday’s game looking to do that. We will see where we go after that.
“We want to show the Club and the fans something. We want to give them something to shout about.”
Hudson was keen to use this time to show his managerial prowess, immediately working with the players on his style of play this week.
“I have my own ideas on the way we should play and the identity of this club,” he says. “We need to get back to showing that and getting the fans behind us.
“We need high energy, we need to keep the ball for longer, and if we do that then it gives us a shout. Then, out of possession, win the ball back as quickly as we can.
“It’s about the energy, going into each game feeling we can get something out of it with a principle and fundamentals in that.
“I’ll give every player the opportunity to show me what they’ve got, and will make judgements on their training and their performances.
“It’s a fresh start for everyone. They all have to buy into that and then have to show me what they’ve got. I’ll make decisions based on that.”
Hudson may hand former Cardiff striker Campbell his debut, while midfield player Trevoh Chalobah and winger Rajiv van La Parra could start after impressing off the bench.
Cardiff could give a first start to forward Isaac Vassell after two substitute appearances for the club. Callum Paterson faces a late fitness test and Marlon Pack could miss out with a hamstring injury, while former Huddersfield right-back Lee Peltier should return for City after an ankle problem.
Warnock may consider calling in playmaker Lee Tomlin after Cardiff created few. Chances during a poor team display at Reading. Tomlin has been ill, but has been back in training.
Cardiff are unbeaten in their last 11 games against Huddersfield in all competitions (W7, D4) since a 1-0 defeat in January 2003.
Last season, both of Cardiff v Huddersfield Premier League matches ended goalless.
Cardiff City (v Huddersfield, probable, 4-4-1-1): Cardiff City: Smithies, Peltier, Morrison, Flint, Bennett, Vaulks, Ralls, Murphy, Paterson, Vassell, Glatzel.