Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner says Martin Cranie will make his first Championship start of the season at Blackburn Rovers - but not necessarily at right-back.

The head coach, who is desperate to shore up a leaky defence (15 goals conceded in the last seven games), could go with three centre-backs at Ewood Park - just as he did in the last away game at Cardiff City.

Mark Hudson won’t be involved, with Wagner confirming the captain’s hamstring problem will sideline him for two to three weeks.

And an ankle injury for Sean Scannell, also sustained during Monday’s 2-1 home defeat by Wigan Athletic, means the wideman won’t be back until January.

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Meanwhile regular right-back Tommy Smith will serve a one-match ban at Blackburn after picking up five yellow cards but forward Jack Payne is fit again after a knee injury and will be back in the travelling party.

Cranie started the League Cup first-round tie at Shrewsbury Town but has been limited to three appearances from the bench in the league.

Wagner, whose side are sixth, said: “He is a good player and a good character.

“He totally deserves to start because of what he has shown in training.

“Martin has worked hard all the time he hasn’t been in the starting side to make sure he is ready for when he is in it.

“And he has the versatility to play in different formations.”

Video thumbnail, WATCH: Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner on new players adjusting to a hectic winter
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WATCH: David Wagner on players adjusting to a busy winter

Wagner added: “It may be we go with three centre-backs.

“The style of Blackburn’s play is a little bit comparable to Cardiff’s.

“Both have a tall target man, like to cross the ball and are strong on set-pieces.

“And like Cardiff were when we played them, Blackburn will have confidence from good results - they will have a big chest after they won at Newcastle.

“I think we learned lessons from Cardiff, where part of our idea worked well while some parts didn’t.

“We must be focused on ourselves and make fewer mistakes.

“It’s a good chance for us to show that we want to and are able to make things better.”