Writer: Joe Brown
Date:Wednesday April 11 2007
Andy Ritchie was today named as the new manager of Huddersfield Town finally ending speculation surrounding the job.
The 46-year old today signed a 2-year deal and will take charge of first-team affairs for this Saturdays trip to FL1 leaders Scunthorpe United.
Andy said to htafc.com
'I'll be in first thing tomorrow morning and I'm really looking forward to getting on with it. I'll be involved in first-team training tomorrow, but John (Dungworth) has a better handle on the players and the situation than I do currently and, at least initially, I will be leaning on him a little. He has all the reports adhering to the Scunthorpe game and I might take a little bit of a back seat for the minute.
'Having said that, I want to make an impression with the players and I will have a little chat with them in the morning about how we are going to do things.'
'Hopefully we can get a few good results. I think we need that bit of confidence going into next season, but we know it will be difficult at Scunthorpe this weekend as they are a win away from promotion and they will want to achieve that on home soil. They missed out on the opportunity last weekend and they will be determined; we know it's going to be a big ask, but we will be looking to spoil their party for another week.
'It's a great game to have as my first in charge - to get a positive result against the team at the top of the League would be a great start for me.'
'just being in the Stadium, looking at the facilities and the infrastructure and it's obvious that Huddersfield Town can go very far. It's up to us to ignite the flame now and it's up to us to get into the next division.
'There is no doubt that the Club is geared up for promotion to the Championship and that has to be the aim now. We have a massive fan-base; the fans are still here despite the indifferent season and I'm sure that if we get things right on the pitch, we can get 15-16,000 here every week - maybe more.
'It's now a case of getting the players re-motivated and once we get into the Championship, we can reassess the situation. I tasted promotion last season with Barnsley and it was a great feeling - now I want to do it again as soon as possible.'
'There's such massive potential here. We talked about the infrastructure earlier and you have to look no further than Gerry Murphy and the brilliant Academy setup - he's got it working to its maximum and it's producing a lot of good players for the first-team.
'With my background in Academy setups (Andy was in charge of Youth Development at Leeds United in 2001) I'm very open to this route and I'll be looking to work very closely with Gerry. He has a good wealth of knowledge and you only have to look at Monday's team against Blackpool, which had eleven Academy-produced players in out of the sixteen in the squad, to see the value of the Academy.
'Throughout the interview process, it was obvious that the Club are very pro-Academy and it's no surprise given the amount of success they have had with it. It's a great method of producing quality players without having to spend massive amounts - given the fact that finances in football are dwindling these days, it has to be done this way.'
'There are some great players here and for one reason or another they have underperformed this season. We now have to get these players back to hitting their full potential for next season. That's my job, along with John; to reignite the passion, the flair and the firepower in the players so that they will start to win games again. They don't have to do it for themselves only - they have to do it for the fans and the Town. It has to come from within and the players have to want it themselves and it's up to me to instil that belief in them.'
'As I said, John will have to do a little bit more initially. We have a few lads out of contract at the end of the season and with just four games left, I'm going to have to make quick assessments of the staff and the players. I will speak to those players about the situation before decision-time comes.
'Those players only have a short time to impress now, which may be a little unfair on them in truth, but this happens in football and I'm sure they will accept that.
'I obviously have my own ideas about what we need and who can come in to strengthen the team, but I will speak to Gerry and John to get their opinions too. I have seen the team play on-and-off throughout the season and obviously I know them well from last term, but we will all have a word tomorrow morning.'
LINK to Ritchie's Statistical Managerial Record Here
Date:Wednesday April 11 2007
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