Huddersfield Town head coach Carlos Corberan revealed the struggles of forward Isaac Mbenza in recent weeks following his side’s defeat at Middlesbrough.
The Terriers’ winless run since the turn of the year extended to nine matches in all competitions as they were defeated on Tuesday night by a Boro side winless in five themselves going into the match.
Mbenza opened the scoring with a brilliant free kick just nine minutes in at the Riverside Stadium, a second goal in two games for the Belgian.
However, he was forced off with an injury on the half-hour mark, and in his absence Huddersfield crumbled to another defeat.
Duncan Watmore scored just moments later with a great individual goal of his own, and Ashley Fletcher scored from the spot shortly before the break.
Despite Paddy McNair’s late red card and Kieran Phillips hitting the post, the Terries were unable to salvage a point.
The defeat dropped them further down the Championship table to 19th, the relegation zone beckoning ever closer, but that was not the only bad news.
Mbenza has stepped up in attack in recent matches, especially in the absence fellow winger Josh Koroma through injury, but will need to be checked with what Corberan said after the match was an abdominal issue.
Huddersfield’s head coach also revealed that Mbenza, who first moved to the John Smith’s Stadium on loan in 2018 before signing permanently from Montpellier the following year, has been struggling for some time.
“Isaac, (since) the Christmas time, started to feel something in the Achilles,” said Corberan, who is coming under increasing pressure following his side’s poor run of results.
“This week he starts to feel something in the abdominal part too, he starts to feel one pain every single day.
“We try to manage him to continue playing with the pain, but he couldn’t do it, that’s why we made the change.
“I hope he can continue receiving the treatment and making every training exercise, but we’ll see how he arrives in the next days.
“He is one player who gives us the goals that we need. He did last week, he did today too in a different type of situation.”