Breitenreiter may have turned down Huddersfield job

Andre Breitenreiter says that he may not have accepted the Huddersfield Town job if he had known about all the "problems" at the club.

Breitenreiter arrived in February as the third permanent manager of the season after Neil Warnock and Darren Moore.

But with just two wins from the German's 12 games, the Terriers are all but relegated ahead of their final game at Ipswich Town on Saturday (12:30 BST).

"I decided to sign for Huddersfield, but when I have known about all the things and problems in the team, maybe I would have decided in another way," said Breitenreiter.

Having kept the club up with one match to spare last season, Warnock left his position in September.

But his replacement, Moore, only lasted four months after overseeing just three league wins in his 22 games.

Breitenreiter was appointed on the back of his pedigree in German and Swiss football, having won the title with FC Zurich in 2021-22.

Huddersfield owner Ken Nagle talked of the German bringing a "winning culture", but the 50-year-old admits he has struggled to implement that at the John Smith's Stadium.

Town would need to win at Ipswich, hope Birmingham City draw and Plymouth Argyle lose with a 15-goal swing to survive, and Breitenreiter accepts his side are destined for League One football for the first time since 2012.

Huddersfield players after the 1-1 draw with Birmingham
Since losing the play-off final in 2022, Huddersfield have had five permanent bosses [Rex]

'Too much focus on golf'

Breitenreiter is fiercely critical of last summer's pre-season under Warnock, which he believes has left the squad not sharp enough for the rigours of a 46-game Championship campaign.

He cited defenders Yuta Nakayama and Radinio Balker and striker Danny Ward as key players who have missed too much football due to injury.

"I knew about the fitness problem," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"I heard about the really poor pre-season where players trained once a day and the focus was on playing golf and maybe staying in the pub.

"This never leads to success.

"They did not train enough to be able to play over 90 minutes - this is what I heard from many, many people around the club."

Breitenreiter also believes the squad has been afflicted by too many cliques, and regrets he did not try to tackle the issue sooner into his reign.

"When I was a player and a manager, to be successful, you need one team," he said. "This is the biggest problem - there is no one group. This is clear.

"There are many problems in the team and they do not accept each other. With the knowledge I have today, maybe I was too calm for a long time.

"It's always important in a relegation battle to be calm and that people believe in you and trust you.

"Then it was maybe not the right moment to take hard decisions but I realised very early the big problems in the team."

Andre Breitenreiter during the 1-1 draw with Birmingham
Huddersfield have collected two points from their last four games to be all but relegated [Rex]

'You cannot work with eight players'

Breitenreiter was critical of some of his squad in the aftermath of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Birmingham City that effectively sealed their fate.

And he has doubled down on that criticism.

"When we played as a team, we always collected points, always, and it was possible and not so difficult to stay in the league," he said.

"But as (Liverpool manager) Jurgen Klopp said a few weeks ago, as long as you are not Lionel Messi, you have to defend for the team, and you have to work.

"We have no player who has scored 30 goals and made 30 assists. When you have no goals and no assists in your last 15 games, you should run for your life for your mates.

"Also in the last game, we had some players who did not work definitively.

"You cannot work with eight players when you are Huddersfield Town to stay in the league. Then you don't deserve it.

"This is the biggest problem and we couldn't handle it."