Hear from Town’s Manager on Town’s schedule
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell thinks the opening day Yorkshire derby at Hull City is just what the doctor ordered to start the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Just like Town supporters, the Manager was excited to see who his side was pitted against when the fixtures were released at 9am on htafc.com this morning.
“Fixture release day brings it home that the new season is getting closer. Everyone tends to go away, relax and get away from football for a short time after the season, but this refocuses the minds,” Chris told the Club's official website.
“It’s changed a lot over the years, because now it’s so easy to find out your fixtures from anywhere in the world in an instant!
“I think the three areas everyone looks at straight away are the first game, the final game and where your team is over Christmas. The first game is particularly important for everyone and it’s turned out to be a big one for us!”
On the game in Humberside against the Tigers on 8 August, Chris commented:
“It’ll be a great day for the supporters and I’m delighted we’re facing a side like Hull. Playing against a side that has been in the Premier League for the last two seasons will give us a measure of where we are.
“Our fans will be in good voice and we’ll be ready for the game. It’s only one of 46 games, but we’ll go there looking to get a result to get our season up and running.
“I’m looking forward to pitting my wits against Steve Bruce and his team. I’ll be proud to take my Huddersfield Town team there.”
The opening fixture will be followed by three successive home games against Notts County (w/c 10 August), Blackburn Rovers (15 August) and Brighton & Hove Albion (18 August).
Chris continued: “We’ll have Notts County first in the Capital One Cup, but without a doubt the first league game at home is a good one. Everyone looks forward to being on their home turf again in a game that really matters. Our home season starts against Blackburn.”
Watch Powell's side with a Season Card in 2015/16 - click HERE for info
Town’s derbies against the other Yorkshire clubs come in two blocks this season, with fixtures against Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Rotherham United all falling in November and December before the return legs fall in March and April.
Chris explained that an improved set of results in these games is a top priority.
“We know that is an area for improvement. I quickly recognised after my third game as Manager away at Leeds what these games mean to people connected with the Club and we only managed a couple of draws last year, so that’s an area we must improve on.
“We take a lot of pride in being ‘The Yorkshire Club’ and we have to perform in these games. They take on extra precedence because of the local rivalry between families and work colleagues.
“Whether they are together this season through a quirk or pre-planning I’m not sure, but like everyone else I’m looking forward to these games.”
Contrary to last season, Town finish the 2015/16 campaign on home soil against Brentford on Saturday 7 May 2016 in what will be a 12.30pm kick-off.
“It’s always nice to finish at home,” Chris admitted. “It always feels weird when you have the lap to thank fans for their support throughout the season at the final home game of the season, but you still have a game to go!
“Who knows – we might have two or three games after that!”
Away from the fixtures, the Manager explained that the Club’s recruitment work behind the scenes is continuing in earnest:
“I know fans would like to see new players coming in as soon as the season ends, but it’s a difficult time and it’s usually only around now when things start to pick up across the market. Obviously the transfer window runs until 1 September.
“We’ve got our new Head of Football Operations, Stuart Webber, in and we’ve met personally and been on the phone a lot. I’m very confident we’ll get the right people in the building.”