AFTER a season that saw Huddersfield Town concede the third highest tally of goals in the Championship and have a goal difference in a worse state than all but bottom club Bristol City, the expectation among supporters was that the summer would bring an influx of defenders to the club.
The opposite, however, has been true with Mark Robins’s recruitment having largely centred around improving his team’s attacking threat with Jon Stead, James Vaughan and Adam Hammill being among the permanent arrivals.
Only Jake Carroll has come in to bolster the defence but the Terriers manager insists his side already has the personnel to improve massively on the 73 goals that Huddersfield shipped last term.
He said: “It was an area of concern last season and we need to be better this time around.
“It is down to the players within the building to make sure that they defend properly. The defence was an area of big investment last summer.
“There are areas within the team that we would like to address, but we can’t do everything in one transfer window. I have belief in the players that if they look after themselves and work hard they will be in a position to perform consistently.
“Joel Lynch has come back fit and looks in good shape, but we have missed Anthony Gerrard during pre-season.
“He is only now getting back to fitness, but he has been working extremely hard. Peter Clarke had surgery over the summer and has put a lot of work in with the team and on his own to get to where he needs to be.
“We are well stocked for numbers when all the defenders are fit, but we just need to make sure that we are strong,” added Robins.
Lynch is likely to be at the heart of the defence today against his former club Nottingham Forest as Town look to banish the memory of last season’s 6-1 hammering at the City Ground.
The 25-year-old made his penultimate appearance of 2012-13 in that game and is delighted to be back in the fold after a difficult few months.
He said: “Last season didn’t end very well for me; I was pretty much down and out. I wasn’t even in the squad.
“However, I did exactly what the manager told me to do over the summer and I have worked really hard during pre-season.
“I have barely missed a session and have just given my all. At the moment things are looking good; the manager has restored his faith in me.
“I am in a much better situation and I feel like I can kick on. It feels like a fresh start.”