Martin Cranie on Town’s “tailored” pre-season schedule
- Martin Cranie speaks to htafc.com ahead of Bury
- Defender discusses the benefit of pre-season friendlies
- 30 year-old delighted to be at the Club for the upcoming campaign
Huddersfield Town defender Martin Cranie spoke to htafc.com about the Club’s Play-Off Final win, how the Terriers’ coaching staff have tailored pre-season around the start of the campaign and the importance of bringing intensity into friendly matches.
The 30 year-old admitted the Play-Off Final against Reading was one of the biggest games of his career and that he was delighted to be a part of it.
“It wasn’t nice to see Tommy (Smith) come off injured in the Final but it did give me the chance to play in one of the biggest games of my career; I tried to take the opportunity with both hands and thankfully we did the job,” said Cranie.
“The stakes at the end of the match were massive; we played well throughout the Play-Offs and always had the belief we could get into the Premier League.
“The penalty shoot-out was nerve wracking for us all but ultimately we held our nerve the best.
“After we missed our second penalty it could’ve been easy for us to get our heads down and think we’d lost but, in my mind, I was always confident that Wardy (Danny Ward) would save at least one, giving us the chance to get back into it. Thankfully Schindy put our fifth one away and we won the game.”
David Wagner’s First Team came back into pre-season training at the Club’s PPG Canalside Training Ground on Friday 5 July and the right-back admitted the whole team had a burning desire to get back on the pitch.
“It’s been really exciting for us since we’ve come back; obviously the break hasn’t been as long for us this year because of the Play-Off Final, but I can probably speak for all the lads in saying all we’ve wanted to do is get back training ahead of the Premier League season.
“One of the main things for me was looking at the fixture list when it came out. You always look at your first match of the season, which is away at Crystal Palace, but then you look further down it and see the names like Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal which is a completely different but exciting experience for us all.”
Cranie signed a new one-year contract extension with the Club on Thursday 9 February 2017 with his deal now running until the end of the 2017/18 Premier League season.
“When I sat down with the Head Coach to discuss the new deal, we were doing well in the Sky Bet Championship, sitting near the top,” explained Cranie.
“Promotion was always something that was in the back of our minds but saying that we never got carried away about it; now thankfully I’m still here at the Club and can’t wait for our upcoming Premier League campaign.”
When speaking to #HTTV earlier this week, Head Coach David Wagner revealed he was very happy with the levels of fitness shown by his players.
This was a comment echoed by the experienced defender, who also praised the work of the coaching staff at the Club for preparing the players in the right way.
“We have a very fit bunch of lads and if you compared the stats we recorded this month with the ones from last year, you would see that we have come back in great shape.
“I think pre-season is more structured for us now. We aren’t just running; the balls are out and everything is more tailored to preparing for the start of the season.
“Obviously, it is hard but it’s more enjoyable and helps us get our heads down and working hard.”
Just five days after returning to pre-season training, Huddersfield Town beat Accrington Stanley 1-0 in a friendly at the Wham Stadium.
Cranie revealed he discussed the pre-season schedule with Head Coach David Wagner after returning the training and praised the approach taken by the Club in regard to organising friendlies.
“I was speaking to the Head Coach the other day and was saying to him I thought it was good that we were getting games in straight away.
“I feel that I helps to play matches straight away, as it gets your sharpness back and it helps to build your match fitness back-up.
“Obviously it helps the new lads as well to get used to our style, which is really important. It’s really good for them to know what the Head Coach expects from them in matches and for us to learn more about them.
“Everyone came out of the Accrington match fit and healthy with 45 minutes under their belts, so it was a big positive for us.”
Huddersfield Town’s second pre-season friendly is against Bury on Sunday 16 July at Gigg Lane; 3pm kick-off.
The defender explained what David Wagner expects from his team going into these kinds of matches.
“It’ll be a good test for us at Bury, they’re a fit bunch and probably would’ve been back for a couple of weeks longer than us.
“I would expect it to be quite intense, but you have to make it into what you want. We have to go into the game and force the intensity, otherwise it’ll do what some pre-season matches do and just play out at a slow pace.
“The Head Coach has told us all what he wants out of these matches; we have to install the reactive pressure into the match.
“We all want to use these games to build up our fitness to prepare us well for the new season.”