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15 February 2013

Town’s new manager faces the press at Canalside

Mark Robins faced the press for the first time as Huddersfield Town Manager at Canalside on Thursday afternoon and told the gathered journalists how excited he was by the potential of the Club.

Robins turned down the opportunity to speak to a few clubs during his five month spell as Coventry City boss before opting to explore the opportunity of joining the Terriers, 

“I was happy at Coventry, but I got a call to say Huddersfield was interested in speaking to me and I wanted to speak to them because I had a feeling the project was a good one and you need to know all the facts to make an informed decision. Things unfolded from there,” Mark explained.

“There was a synergy between what the Club wants and the way I’ve been working. When that became clear, it became a good decision to join.

“It’s an exciting project, there’s no doubt about it. There has been a lot of investment, as you can see with all the work going on at the training facility. There’s been investment in the team too and the attraction stems from the owner; I’ve admired what Dean Hoyle has done from afar in taking this club forward. 

“There is still certainly a lot to do, but it’s an exciting time to be associated with the football club. There is a fundamental change coming in football and this Club has begun that change a while ago. Everything around us fits with the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) and we want to develop an excellent facility. Canalside has a slightly different feel as it has public access and that’s good, because it means the players have contact with the supporters. 

“There’s huge potential here and I’m really looking forward to working with the people that are here, hopefully for a long time because we have success. I’m firmly focussed on leading this Club through some good and exciting times.” 

In the short term, the 43 year-old’s main aim is to consolidate the Club’s Championship status – and he believes Town’s squad is capable:

“Every Club is an individual and faces its own challenges,” the Lancastrian continued. “At the moment we have to try and get the work done at Canalside for the start of next pre-season, but we have a 14 game League season in which why have to try and pick up points to climb the table. 

“Having met the players today (Thursday) and seen them play in the second half at Leicester on Tuesday, I know there is a lot in the building. There is always scope to add to it if I feel that we need to.

“You’d expect them to be lifted after the last game, but we have some really good players with real talent. We held our first session and got involved with them, telling them how we want to do things, but ultimately there are the ones who will decide how we play because they go over the white line. We will prepare them in the right way. 

“There are some good young players here as well; that was evident at Leicester when we had some experience missing from the team. We have to make sure going forward that the older heads nurture the younger ones. 

“Success will be making sure we pick up enough points to climb away from where we are. I’ve been in similar positions to this – probably a little further down the League – and we’re in the process of putting building blocks in place to get those points.” 

However, the long term plan set out by Town’s Board of Directors made a big impression on the new manager:

“We have to develop in every aspect; the facility, youth development, recruitment, analysis, training performance. All the fundamental things that are the building blocks I’ve spoken about. 

“There is potential for anyone in the Championship to go higher, if you do things in the right way. There is no quick fix; even when you throw money at things, you need a plan. This Club has set out a coherent plan throughout the Club, from grass roots through to the First Team, that fits my way of thinking and we have to stick to that and make it work. 

“There is a clear pathway here that the Club has developed and there is longevity to it. It’s tough to develop players because you have to do it while getting results, but we’ll enjoy having a go.” 

Robins, along with new First Team Coach Steve Taylor, will lead the team for the first time on Sunday in a mouth-watering FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Premier League Wigan Athletic in front of the ITV1 cameras. 

“I’ve been knocked out of the FA Cup already this season by Tottenham at White Hart Lane!” Mark joked. “This is a different challenge; Roberto’s teams always play good football and it is a game to look forward to.

“I think all games have to be viewed as an opportunity and we get to put our wits against Premier League opposition. We were possibly un-fancied the other night against a Leicester side that has been flying, especially as the side suffered a heavy defeat there earlier in the season, but they went there and played really well. From what I saw in the second half, the players were more than worth the win.

“This game allows me to have a look at the players, but we want to try and progress. We have another game pretty quickly after Sunday, so hopefully we can get them recovered and get them ready for the game on Tuesday.  

“We’ll prepare the team as best we can for Sunday – let’s hope we don’t get too much more snow!”

Admission to Sunday’s home clash with Wigan starts at just £10 adults and £5 concessions – click HERE for full info!

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