'We like each other' - Huddersfield boss keen to stunt Leeds United familiar faces amid player reunions

Andre Breitenreiter has worked with Leeds United duo Willy Gnonto and Georginio Rutter previously
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Huddersfield Town boss Andre Breitenreiter may still be getting used to the Championship, but he knows all about some of Leeds United's chief threats. Breitenreiter is preparing to take charge of his third Terriers game this weekend and having beaten Watford last weekend, he'll be keen to continue his fine start at the John Smith's Stadium by halting Leeds' nine-game winning run.

One of the keys to doing that could be nullifying the attacking play of both Georginio Rutter and Willy Gnonto, who the German has worked with in previous roles. Breitenreiter spent time helping to mould Gnonto in his position as manager at FC Zurich before the Italian's switch to Leeds in 2022 and he spent several months working alongside Rutter at Hoffenheim last season, too.

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As such, while the Huddersfield boss will be keen to catch up with the pair, he knows more than most about what they're capable of and how to stop them from making an impact.

“We know about the players, and some players were my former players in Hoffenheim and Zurich, so I will know them during the 90 minutes,” the Huddersfield boss said ahead of the game. “I know about their quality, but we also have quality to defend this, and we have also very quick players in our front to play a very quick transition play. We have a plan, we practice this, we have video clips and then we hope that it will work on Saturday.

“With Willy Gnonto we won the championship in Zurich, and at the end of the season, he became a national team player for Italy. We like each other, before the game, after the game, but not during the game. He’s a really good player, he’s a good character, and he has quality on the pitch. We are still in contact, not this week but after this week for sure.

“Georginio Rutter, he was my player in Hoffenheim and then he signed for a lot of money for Leeds, so we missed him in Hoffenheim. He’s also a great character, a very good individual, one-on-one, quick. They are good characters, and I’m happy to meet them after and before, but during no.

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“We hope that we can mark both of the players very tight, that they cannot show us their quality. I’m sure that we have players against them with high quality, and it’s exciting to see what will happen on Saturday.”

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