Town Chairman’s verdict and plans for the summer
Huddersfield Town Chairman Dean Hoyle is already relishing the start of the 2013/14 Championship season – only days after the dramatic conclusion to the previous campaign!
Town finally secured their second tier status with the pulsating 2-2 home draw with Barnsley on the final day of the season. That brought a 19th place finish, the highest position for 13 years. Hoyle now wants Town to learn quickly to gain every competitive edge possible going into the new season – their first full one under Manager Mark Robins.
Despite this, he couldn’t help pondering what might have been during Town’s first season at this level.
“You do wonder where we might have ended up if Jermaine Beckford was fit all season – it’s only natural. Given how compressed the division was, we could have possibly been challenging for the Play-Offs!” Hoyle told htafc.com with a wry smile. Beckford only appeared on the pitch for 41% of the minutes he was eligible for due to injury issues.
“That’s frustrating in a sense, but if you sign key players on high salaries and they get injured you cannot easily replace them; your money can only go so far. We do have to make sure we have stronger competition for places.”
Heading into the 2013/14 season, Hoyle wants Robins and his technical staff to work on gaining every extra edge they can from the squad in order to be successful against some of the powerhouse clubs in the division.
“We have to get all the fundamentals right and obtain all the extra percentages we possibly can,” Dean continued.
“Next season we want to ensure we are the fittest, most organised and best prepared team on the pitch in every game. The Manager has a big part to play in this in setting the standards and driving them through.
“Set pieces are vitally important too. Interestingly our centre halves only contributed three goals all season and that probably shows our delivery hasn’t been consistently good enough. In this division, you have to make these opportunities count. In tight games they are vital; Cardiff were exceptional in this. Most teams have real set-piece specialists. That’s another thing we have to look at for next season.”
League Champions Cardiff City scored 45% of their 72 goals from set-pieces this season, whereas only 35% of Town’s 53 goals came via that route.
“We cannot be predictable as a team either. We talked about this when we brought Mark Robins to the Club in February and he embraces all these points – he is excited by the challenge. The table shows it can be done.
“I have said before, we will not be able to compete with certain clubs in this division on a financial footing – it’s impossible. We know we have to do things differently to be competitive. The table shows it can be done.”
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