Huddersfield Town defender Tommy Smith has jumped to the defence of skipper Mark Hudson.

Centre-back Hudson has come in for stick from some sections of support as Town have worked to adapt to a new style of playing under head coach David Wagner.

That criticism peaked as Town conceded four goals in losing at Brentford, but Smith says the 33-year-old former Fulham, Crystal Palace, Charlton and Cardiff City is a tremendous influence on the squad as they prepare to tackle Preston North End and QPR in the holiday games.

“For me he is brilliant,” said Smith of Hudson’s all-round contribution.

“He helps out the people he is playing alongside on the pitch – he certainly helps me – and vocally during games he is really good, which is something fans don’t get to hear.

“People also don’t get to see what he is like off the pitch and the influence he has with everyone. He is brilliant to have around.”

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Smith says Wagner’s squad are in positive mood, especially with midfielders Jonathan Hogg, Emyr Huws and Phil Billing now back to fitness and challenging for selection against Preston at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“We are a very positive bunch of lads who train hard and work hard together, and we know that if we perform how the coach wants we will move up the league,” added Smith.

“Last week at Brentford it wasn’t the greatest performance, especially in the first half when the damage was done, but it was a lot better in the second half and we want to take those positives through to the Preston game.”