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Mick Laverick: The Anfield Experience

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Terriers legend Mick Laverick has warned David Wagner’s Town players to get ready for a “cauldron of noise” when they face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

The sensational 2-1 victory over Manchester United last weekend will ensure that Town head across the Pennines in confident mood when they face Liverpool in front of the iconic Kop since 1971.

And former Huddersfield midfielder Laverick has told TOTT that Wagner’s team must feed off the unique atmosphere created at one of the most famous grounds in the world to maintain the feel-good factor around the John Smith’s Stadium.

“Along with winning the Fourth Division title with Town, playing at Anfield has to be one of the highlights of my career and I hope it will be the same for the current team,” Laverick said.

“Anfield is a really special ground and the whole experience will be amazing for all the players who’ve never tasted that unique Anfield flavour and will be right up there with the Wembley play-off final.

“Right from touching the ‘This is Anfield’ sign as they head down the players’ tunnel to soaking up the noise from the Kop when they come out on to the stage to enjoying ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, they’ve got to feed off it.”

Liverpool were European champions when Laverick pitted his wits against the likes of Graeme Souness when he was playing for Southend in the FA Cup in January 1979.

“We lost 3-0 but if they play their cards right and stick to David Wagner’s game plan, Huddersfield could do a lot better than we did,” said Laverick whose Huddersfield exploits are charted in the new Town book The 101 Club.

“One of the key things is that they must embrace the atmosphere created at Anfield because it’s a real cauldron of noise. There is nothing like it anywhere.

“The players have to be in the right mindset when they go into battle and not be overawed because if they do they’ll freeze.

“They’d got to realise they’re worthy competitors and then they’ve got to go out there confidently so they can play their stuff and spoil things for Liverpool.”

Laverick was Terriers boss Mick Buxton’s midfield playmaker when he was in his prime with Town and he is certain the game will be won and lost in the middle of the pitch.

“Aaron Mooy and Danny Williams look like the perfect combination of silk and steel in midfield, with Jonathan Hogg sitting just behind them to protect the defence”, Laverick said.

“They will have their work cut out at Anfield against people like Jordan Henderson if Liverpool get into their stride,” said Laverick who is now a prison officer.

“I’d bet that they will rise to the challenge of trying to silence the Kop and if they do that then they will be well on their way and if they can grab a point that will be a job well done.”

As well as Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Town counterpart Wagner being close friends, the fixture has extra significance thanks to the memories of Billy Shankly who managed at Leeds Road before taking over at Anfield.

“I had the good fortune of meeting Shankly before our game and he gave us a talk that had the hairs up the back of my neck standing up on end,” Laverick continued.

“He is rightly worshipped at Liverpool and that will be just another element to what should be a really good game and even though I’ve got a soft spot for Liverpool I’ll be rooting for Town.”

The 101 Club book, which charts the 1979/80 Fourth Division title season, is due out at the end of November and for more information go to the Great Northern Book website:https://www.gnbooks.co.uk/product/101/

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