Town’s Manager previews Saturday’s game with Barnsley
The message from Town Manager Mark Robins was clear during his pre-Barnsley press conference at Canalside Sports Complex – it’s up to us.
With the footballing world working through the possible connotations at the bottom of the npower Championship, with six teams still battling for survival, Robins was keen to turn the focus onto the performance of the Terriers ahead of Saturday’s game.
“It’s been a good, usual week for us. We know Saturday’s game is approaching and we can’t wait; everybody is looking forward to it. The quicker it comes, the better,” Mark told htafc.com.
“I’m not at all surprised that it’s come down to the final game of the season; I always thought it would be the case. The way that the teams at the bottom of the league have acquitted themselves and worked over the last few months has been absolutely unbelievable.
“Everybody has been winning – teams at the bottom are in Play-Off form. It’s unheard of that teams on 54 and 57 points are in danger of slipping out of the league.
“There are lots of scenarios that could unfold, but it’s about us; how we perform on the day and how we cope with our situation. Last weekend we did enough to win our game and fair play to the teams around us, because they did too. Last weekend was pivotal, but nothing was settled.
“The League has been phenomenal and I’m sure the League is absolutely delighted with the way things have played out in every division this season. It’s all come down to this last day and, again, it will come down to how we perform. If we take care of our business on Saturday, there is no need to worry about anybody else.
“Everybody has fought hard to get here. I’ve talked before about how Dean Hoyle looks after this club and any visitors to Canalside can see what’s going on around the place, so it’s important for us to remain in the Championship. We have to do whatever’s necessary to get the three points on Saturday.
“It’s sport and you can’t take anything for granted. We have to make sure we do our jobs; that’s all you can do.
“We’ve played some really good stuff lately, scoring three goals in three of our last four games. If we take that form into Saturday, it should be a cracker.”
Town’s opponents Barnsley are fighting to secure their own Championship status and Robins knows his side are in for a real test.
He continued: “You have to give Barnsley a lot of credit because of the way they’ve played. They’re spirited and since Dave Flitcroft took over they have shown they are a good side and have picked good points up. We know it’s not going to be easy, but equally it will not be easy for any of the teams involved on the day. It will be a scrap, but it will be a good game.
“It will be a cup tie on Saturday, but we will prepare for the game like any other. We are focussed and there is a determination in the squad, which is what you look for.”
Robins will come up against a former employee in the Tykes this weekend, but he was adamant that is no factor in the game.
“The fixtures have been out all season, so I knew it was around the corner. It has nothing to do with the game though, regardless of what people might say. I was employed at Barnsley for a while, but no longer – my absolute focus is firmly on Huddersfield Town and for us to finish as high as we can in the league.
“We can still finish 12th, which is absolutely ridiculous.”
The game has captured the imagination of both sets of fans, with over 20,000 tickets now sold for the game.
“It’s a game that befits that sort of crowd,” Mark explained. “Credit to both sets of supporters because there is a real appetite to watch the sides.
“Both sets of supporters will have the same aspirations, but I hope that we get the rub of the green and the right result on the day. I know the supporters will be 100% behind them.”
Coming into the game, Robins’ squad is in good shape.
“Fitness-wise we are ok, which I’m delighted with. We’ll have another look at the players tomorrow and assess things.
“Jermaine (Beckford) is training, so we’ll look at him over the next 24 hours – but Novak was excellent last weekend. They are the decisions you want – you want everyone raring to go.
“The players are putting in a shift and are in great spirits. Training has been of a high quality, which augers well for the game.”
Buy your ticket for the game online now and print it at home – click HERE!