The season could not have started much worse, with a 4-0 defeat and Mark Robins' departure casting a shadow over Huddersfield Town.

But an upturn in league fortunes, masterminded by interim manager Mark Lillis - who proved a hit with the fans - coupled with some astute signings and the unveiling of Chris Powell as the club's new manager have got Town fans chomping at the bit.

Here, Tom Marshall-Bailey looks at Town's early-season performance across the opening five league games.

Talking points

The opening-day catastrophe of a 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth resulted in the end of Robins' reign at the club and things looked bleak initially for caretaker boss Lillis in the Capital One Cup at Chesterfield.

3-1 down and seemingly out, the Terriers were facing a second consecutive defeat and to a League One outfit, but they rallied admirably to pilfer two late goals through Nahki Wells and Jonathan Stead to force extra-time.

There, Wells would complete his hat-trick before Joe Lolley added the gloss and the comeback win at the Proact Stadium proved a catalyst for the club to recover from such a devastating setback so early on in the season.

The performance at Cardiff City certainly wasn't lacking, even if the result was but the 3-1 defeat contained the caveat of a side just relegated from the Premier League displaying a ruthless streak in front of goal.

Then, the season truly kicked off for Town as Lillis and his charges secured a creditable and deserved 2-1 win at Reading, the size of the victory was marginal, the impact of it monumental.

Town took on Charlton Athletic that weekend with a renewed confidence and vigour that had been instilled by Lillis' hard work with players who could have gone into hiding after the Bournemouth thumping.

And but for an Igor Vetokele equaliser deep into stoppage time to cancel out Wells' strike, Town could be sitting at least two positions higher in 19th.

Given the Addicks are one of only two sides to remain unbeaten to this point in the Championship, it underlines the gargantuan improvement in performance from the first day.

The other team yet to taste defeat are Nottingham Forest, who inflicted a 2-0 loss on Town in the second round of the cup with a slick, assured display.

It can be seen one of two ways.

Of course, everyone loves a cup run but sensibility should be preached and ultimately the club will be judged on league position only.

The 4-2 defeat at Watford just before the international break will have hurt Town as they chased a third goal and an equaliser late on against 10 men - only to be hit on the counter - but it proved that they can mix it with the big hitters and the Hornets' position in the table suggests they will be in the promotion reckoning at the end of the season.

Huddersfield Town have recovered from a difficult start to the season
Huddersfield Town have recovered from a difficult start to the season
 

Deadline day

Town's venture into the market on deadline day was just what was required as they actively moved to cure one of their most pressing problems of the opening few weeks - central defence.

The defeat at Vicarage Road was the fourth time in seven games across all competitions this season that three or more goals have been leaked and it simply had to be arrested in order to climb up the division.

As the deadline loomed, the Terriers took advantage of Cardiff City's bold £5m move for Bruno Ecuele Manga by snapping up the Bluebirds' experienced central defender Mark Hudson.

With Anthony Gerrard and Lee Peltier continuing to nurse calf and groin injuries respectively and goals continuing to be shipped at an alarming rate, the club sanctioned a move for someone who will come in and make an instant impact.

With Murray Wallace and Joel Lynch both left-footed too, Hudson's presence on the right of a central duo offers more balance to the side as well as greater know-how against some of the Championship's top forwards.

Equally as important was the retention of players.

Millwall were keen on Sean Scannell and Danny Ward attracted interest too, but both stayed put and it meant Town were able to continue to benefit from their work on the flanks, rather than strengthen direct rivals.

Scannell enjoyed a new lease of life under Lillis and was instrumental in the win at Reading, with Powell also vehement about keeping a fellow Londoner at the club.

There is still room for a striking addition but Town's work on deadline day was to be lauded, not lamented.

 

Plus points

Surely the only way is up under Chris Powell.

The manager spoke confidently at his unveiling and everyone at the club seems delighted to have him on board after a meticulous process in terms of selection.

Powell will have a new signing to call upon to shore up the defence and in Conor Coady and Jacob Butterfield, he has a midfield partnership which looks like it could blossom, particularly under the tutelage of a manager famed for his development of young players.

In Scannell and Harry Bunn, Town also appear to effectively have a further two signings given the upsurge in form for both while the competition coursing throughout the squad should have a noticeable impact on each and every player.

No-one can afford to rest on their laurels, even James Vaughan who will be desperate for his first league goal but fans should justifiably feel excited about the return of a proven goalscorer at this level.

Cause for concern

As previously alluded to, the defensive performance from Town so far has not been up to scratch.

In fact, fans are probably right to consider it the primary gripe from the start to the season when you consider the team has shown tangible signs of improvement in recent times.

Upcoming consecutive home matches with Middlesbrough and Wigan Athletic are still tough tests, but it would be fair to suggest they represent slightly easier assignments than trips to Cardiff and Watford, fifth and fourth favourites with the bookies to win the Championship respectively.

The four-goal defeat to Bournemouth was an anomaly, granted, but the nature of some of the goals conceded across the opening stages of the season will have undoubtedly disappointed Lillis and his coaches since that defeat.

If there was a statistic to underline how costly the charitable defending is proving as opposed to the work at the other end of the field, then the fact just eight teams have found the net more so far this term would be it.

Of that octet, only one (Blackburn Rovers with eight) are in the bottom half of the table and only two others teams (Brighton and Hove Albion and Middlesbrough) have reached the same tally as Town of six.

In stark contrast, only three clubs (including Blackburn) have reached double figures in terms of goals conceded, with Bolton Wanderers and Fulham also letting in 10 goals so far.

Town are out on their own with 13 and the timing of the Hudson signing appears no mere coincidence.

His arrival has to prove the antidote to some worrying defensive displays if Town are to move up the Championship ladder.