Simon pleased with opening two performances
Despite only picking up one point from their opening two matches Simon Grayson believes that his players have proven that they can compete in the Championship.
The Terriers opened up their campaign with a narrow defeat against Cardiff before striking late to earn a point against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.
“The performances have been good but what the games have shown the players is that they can compete against two teams who I believe will be near the top end of the division come next May,” Simon told htafc.com.
“Nottingham Forest have spent heavily and they have some very good players as have Cardiff and we have competed very well against them. It shows that to get results in this division you need to stay in the game for as long as possible because we have got match winners who can score a goal at any particular time.
“We could have let our heads drop against Forest and they could have scored two or three more goals but we stuck at it, stayed in the game and managed to get a result. That is testament to the players because they are listening to what we are saying to them and then are carrying it out on a match day.”
Town’s next home game on Saturday is against Burnley, a team who are well established in the division and opened up their season with an impressive victory over relegated Bolton. They are managed by one of the youngest managers in the Football League and Simon is impressed by his managerial career to date.
“Eddie Howe has done a good job both at Bournemouth and Burnley,” he said. “He has started well this season, beating Bolton on the opening day which was a great result and then they narrowly lost in midweek. The reports we have had back indicate that his team are a hard working outfit who have plenty of firepower in Martin Paterson, Charlie Austin and Sam Vokes.”
Despite home advantage Town are likely to be underdogs going into the match, a mentality Simon believes may benefit his players.
“Nine times out of ten we will be underdogs in games this season. I think there are only four teams in the Championship this season who haven’t played in the Premier League so we are going into every game against established Championship teams who have very good players within their squad. We don’t fear anyone but we are respectful of what teams can do against us. The underdog mentality may suit us because the pressure will be on our opponents. I would like to think that teams will come to our Stadium this season and be concerned about the threats that we hold as a team.”
Simon has introduced a new 4-3-3 formation this season but admits that he hasn’t quite settled on what works best for his players.
“We have got a lot of players who are flexible and can play in a number of positions. As a squad I believe we can play in a number of different systems to either suit ourselves or to combat the opposition. We always try and focus mainly on what we can do, but we are in a different division now and teams do cause you more problems so we have to make sure that we are respectful of the opposition. It won’t be like League 1 where we dominate possession for long periods of the game, there will be times when we have lots of the ball because we have good players, but we will also be under the cosh both home and away and it is important that we stay in the game to allow us to get a result.”
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