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16 July 2012

Simon's comments after the Play-Off Final victory

Huddersfield Town Manager Simon Grayson told that he was ecstatic after leading the Terriers to the Championship!

Town missed their first three penalties in the dramatic npower League 1 Play-Off Final penalty shootout against Sheffield United, but went on to score eight in a row to defeat Sheffield 8-7. 

"When we got together to sort out the penalties we never expected it to come down to the 'keeper'," laughed Simon. "I expected him to save a couple, but I don't foresee him scoring the decisive one. 

"I couldn't affect the penalties," said Simon. "People talk about me being relaxed but I just sat down next to the Chairman - I didn't watch any of the penalties - I just checked on who was taking them. I tried to affect the game for 120 minutes but I can't do anything about penalties. It was down to the players to take responsibility. 

"I knew my first five penalty takers but after that it was up to the players. I didn't watch the penalties; I judged what had happened by the fans' reaction and then watched the replay. It was out my hands so I didn't worry about it - I just had a laugh and a joke with the Chairman!

"We had six or seven players who wanted to take penalties and then after that it was up to the players to choose amongst themselves. Players have to take responsibility and I think a few of the players who weren't so confident took better penalties than the ones who were."

Town went close on a number of occasions over the 120 minutes and forced the Blades to make two goal line clearances.

"The game was a very close one and we did have some very good opportunities. After missing the first three penalties I will never know how we recovered, but the players stood up and did their job - what an unbelievable end to a game. I feel sorry for Sheffield United because there is always one loser, but hopefully they can get promotion next year because they are a good Club. 

"People talk about promotion and I believe the best way to achieve it is by coming to Wembley and winning. You can see how ecstatic the supporters and players were - everyone has worked very hard. 

"The Club deserves to be in the Championship; the Chairman has huge ambitions and his enthusiasm was one of the biggest reasons in my decision to join the Club. I am delighted that we have achieved his aim."

Promotion means that Town will head to the likes Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City and Leeds United next season. 

"I am looking forward to taking this team into the Championship and progressing season by season. Today was an unbelievable experience and I do have sympathy for Sheffield United because I have worked with a number of their players. 

"Today's promotion feels slightly different to the others that I have achieved because I have only been at the Club for about four months. With my other teams I have had time to mould a team. It won't be until pre-season and the start of the season that I can put my authority and stamp on to the team. 

"We are going to enjoy tonight and will probably wake up with a hangover! After that I will sit down and talk with the Chairman because we haven't spoken about budgets or the players that are out of contract. The hard work starts next week because we want to stay in the Championship and then push on." 

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