Huddersfield Town centre-back Christopher Schindler discussed the team’s performance, their upcoming games and the positives of the international break.
Huddersfield are still in a position to control their fate
Schindler was honest in the assessment of the defeat to Crystal Palace, believing it to be a below-par performance, but insisted that there was no point in dwelling on the result.
He then commented: “Staying up is bigger than promotion. The manager said it before the start of the season.”
Despite currently sitting 15th in the Premier League table, the Terriers are only three points above the relegation zone.
Schindler said: “We are now in a position – and we are still in a position – where we are in control of our fate. Once you are not in control of things it gets really tough.”
The 27-year-old believes that having a few days off over the international break will be good for the team.
“We should get back on track as soon as we can. These few days will be good for the players to get their heads straight and forget about Crystal Palace,” he stated.
Town are heading into the international break following two disappointing home results – a goalless draw against Swansea City, and the 2–0 defeat to the Eagles.
David Wagner’s men would certainly have hoped for more than one point from these two games, and this has created further worry among the fans about the club’s Premier League status as they head into the final seven games.
“Having Palace and Swansea at home we had different expectations for the results and the performances – that was the most disappointing thing.”
Town struggled to “find a way” into the Palace game
When reflecting on the defeat to Palace, the German felt that the Eagles seized the initiative right from the start, and that Town struggled to respond.
“They had exactly the game they wanted, and we had a game we don’t often see from this team,” he said.
“Nobody was given an opportunity to pass or showing angles to help a teammate. Everybody tried to give responsibility to another. This is not how we can make this season a successful one.”
Prior to the game, it was seen as a crucial game for both teams – but Huddersfield were looking to capitalise on their strong home form, but this wasn’t the case.
“Palace showed us how you should play in this situation. They were all over us from the first second to be fair. We could not find a way into the game,” he admitted.
The defender then added: “We were never dangerous in front of goal or doing something unexpected. This was not good enough.”
“It was a massive opportunity for us, but it makes no sense to write us off. We still have it in our hands.”
In any game throughout the season where Town have conceded first, they have never won the game, and have only drawn once – losing the rest. This shows the importance of scoring that all-important first goal.
On this, the centre-back said: “If I had the feeling that we could score five goals a game, like maybe Liverpool or Man City, then I would not mind conceding an early goal.”
“But with us if we concede we don’t have the quality to come back. That’s why with us there is so much pressure on the first goal.”
“Togetherness and fighting attitude” are the Terrier’s strengths
Huddersfield now face back- to- back away games against fellow promoted sides Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion, and Town will be looking to do the league double over both of these teams.
Again, as with all games against teams in similar league positions, these are seen as crucial, but Schindler feels there is no extra pressure on the team.
“It’s the same pressure we have faced all season. The supporters should not forget where we are coming from,” he said.
Schindler then added: “If you listened to all the experts from the start of the season they were writing us off from the first day. Now we have to get back on track as soon as we can.”
Three of the Terriers final four games are against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, and on this Schindler said:
“It’s difficult against the top six teams so the pressure is high, but there is pressure in every game because we are playing better teams week in week out.”
“We cannot compete with the individual quality the other teams have so we have to bring other strengths, which are togetherness and fighting attitude,” he added.
“Against Palace we didn’t show it, so you can see what happens when we don’t play like we have to, this is what we can take forward from this game."
“Now we must move on and prepare for the next crucial games,” Schindler concluded.