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Why there is plenty still to play for

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As Town prepare for their trip to Griffin Park on Saturday, the reverse fixture of the opening game of the season, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what has been a season to remember for Huddersfield Town.

When Kasey Palmer scored with his first touch on the opening day of the season, just two minutes after Nico Yennaris equalised for Brentford, there was a sense that there was something different about this team.

There was character, guile and determination amongst the side to immediately bounce back from the setback especially against a side that had comprehensively beaten us last season on two separate occasions.

Significantly, there was a confidence and self-belief amongst the players in their own ability and a belief in the philosophy that David Wagner had instilled in the side over pre-season.

Six months and sixty five points later and we can still see these traits running through the very DNA of the side.

The character and bouncebackability of this side to put the disappointing energy-sapping defeat to Newcastle behind them and grind out the victory over Aston Villa shows that we deserve to be exactly where we are and that this side has no limits.

Looking back more broadly, this season will live on in the memory of Town fans- young and old, as one to remember.

The transformation

Throughout my entire life as a Town fan, ever since I slept through a 0-0 draw with Barnsley when I was five years old, I have never witnessed a more special time to support this wonderful football club than this season.

I have seen us gain promotion to the Championship in the most dramatic of circumstances, however, this season there has been a transformation, on and off the pitch which has been incredible to watch unfold.Not only have we witnessed success on the pitch as we have defied the odds and proved every doubter wrong on every single occasion, we have witnessed a transformation.

We have watched over time a significant change in mentality, a change from the mentality of relegation candidates who under previous managers would`ve willingly accepted that we can`t compete with the finances and resources of the likes of Aston Villa and Newcastle, to the mentality of winners. A mentality where we go into every match, regardless of the opposition, with the desire and intent to win.

We have also watched in awe as David Wagner has carefully pieced together this squad over just three transfer windows using extremely limited resources, a squad capable of competing at the very top, when on paper Town have no right to do so.

The transformation has also seen Town become a side capable of not only playing some of the most attractive, exciting expansive football in the entire division but also a side that can grind it out, compete and work for their success when they need too.

However, without a doubt, one massive reason for the psychological transformation and the success on the pitch has been the influence that we have had as fans off of it.

Unity, Togetherness and Belief

Off the pitch, we have arguably seen just as much success than we have on it. There is a strong unbreakable bond between the fans, David Wagner, the squad and the club in general which is incredibly unique.

From the first minute of the first game, there has been positivity, optimism and ambition swirling around the John Smith Stadium.

The support from bumper crowds on a weekly basis has been one of the driving forces behind the success that we have had this season.

The emergence of North Stand Loyal and the South Stand section has seen the atmosphere drastically improve as the John Smith Stadium has become more and more of a fortress for David Wagner`s side.

We have also seen a new generation of young Huddersfield Town fans emerge who are as excited as I am to watch this Huddersfield Town side play.

To have such togetherness and unity, Huddersfield as a town, as one, backing this team throughout the season has been one of my personal ongoing highlights.

Believe

After the disappointing defeat to a tactically astute Newcastle side, some argued that automatic promotion for Town is out of the question.


I believe otherwise, with ten matches and 900+ minutes of football left to be played this season, there are still plenty of twists and turns to be had.

Until it is mathematically not possible, anything can happen and David Wagner`s side has defied the odds all season so I see no reason why that won`t continue.

Questions were raised about our away form, our ability to defend set-pieces, our tactical naivety on the counter and our lack of goals.

We were told that the wheels had come off, the bubble had burst and that we would steadily fall down the table but we haven`t.

After every doubt, every question raised, every prediction that we will fail, we have proved them wrong. We have proved we rightfully remain in the heart of the automatic promotion race.

At this stage, the difficulty and calibre of opposition is irrelevant as every point matters. It is a question of which side has the momentum, which side can cope with the pressure and which side finishes stronger, that is who will go up automatically.

This is almost a call to arms (without the violence) but I believe that we can make the difference as the twelfth man. We can inspire this side to greatness. Not one that can merely compete for promotion, one that gains promotion. No matter, the result or the performance, we are there in our droves every single weekend, home and away… starting at Brentford.

Up the Town

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Writer:Elliott Wheat-Bowen
Date:Thursday March 9 2017
Time: 1:52AM

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