Manager lays down the gauntlet
Huddersfield Town Manager Simon Grayson today laid down the gauntlet to his players ahead of the Preston game to stake their claim for a place in Town’s Championship opener against Cardiff.
The Terriers’ competitive season kicks-off at Deepdale on Monday (7.45pm) in the first round of the Capital One Cup and Simon told htafc.com that he wants to kick the season off in style ahead of the Cardiff game.
“We have four players missing the game due to international commitments, which allows four other players to come in and make an impression,” said Simon.
“It is frustrating missing four players from your first team for the first competitive game of the season, but it is the same case for every manager in the Championship. The call-ups are good accolades for the players in question and for the football club, but they aren’t ideal.
“As I said it gives other players an opportunity to put in a good performance against Preston and stake a claim for a place against Cardiff. If you are in possession of a shirt against Cardiff then it is yours to lose for the rest of the season.”
Jordan Rhodes, Oliver Norwood, Sean Scannell and Murray Wallace are all away on international duty, whilst the likes of Adam Clayton, Keith Southern, Joel Lynch, Paul Dixon, Anthony Gerrard are all set to make their Huddersfield Town debuts.
“The Preston match is a competitive fixture and we want to win every competitive game that we play in. A win would set us off on the right foot and we would enter the Cardiff game in good spirits. If you get through to the second round the ‘big boys’ enter into the competition and you could find yourself with a nice glamour tie. It is about getting the balance right between picking a team that is capable of winning and making sure that players are still fresh for Cardiff on the Friday."
Simon continued: “We have got a lot of reports for all the teams that we are facing within the first month, but for each team they vary because they are experimenting with different formations and players. We have played a number of different formations during pre-season and I won’t be letting on what we are playing against Preston until the night!”
Town’s boss completed his seventh signing of the summer this week in the shape of Anthony Gerrard and he is pleased with the way things have gone in the transfer market.
“I am delighted that we landed Anthony; I had the backing of the Chairman again to go and spend some money on a player. We need to create competition for places throughout the squad and although we have a good bunch at the moment, that isn’t to say that we aren’t still looking to improve.
“We are talking to a few people regarding certain areas of the squad, but if we were to start the season now then I would be very satisfied – we have done a lot of work in recruiting new players already.”
To finish, Simon gave an update on the current condition of his squad.
“We had a few tired bodies the morning after the Barcelona B game, which was expected as we spent large parts of the game chasing the ball. It will have done our fitness levels a lot of good and also our organisation ahead of the new season. Going into the Preston game we have a fully fit squad.”
Preston tickets are available on the gate at Deepdale priced at £10 adults and £5 concessions!