Huddersfield Town head coach Michael Duff on 'firesale' talk, rival interest and nipping 'agendas' in the bud

NEW Huddersfield Town head coach Michael Duff is confident that there will be no ‘firesale’ of leading stars in the wake of the Terriers’ relegation to League One - while acknowledging that some key players will leave in the summer window.

A major ‘reset’ on the playing side will take place during the close season, something that Duff previously experienced at Town’s Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, when he took over in June 2022.

The likes of Cauley Woodrow, Carlton Morris, Callum Brittain and Michal Helik - now at Huddersfield - all left Oakwell as the Reds were faced with a significant financial shortfall following relegation at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

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There are likely to be significant changes to the squad that Duff has now taken on at Huddersfield, but he believes that it will be a different scenario to Barnsley.

WELCOME: Michael Duff poses for photographs at Huddersfield Town's Canalside training groundWELCOME: Michael Duff poses for photographs at Huddersfield Town's Canalside training ground
WELCOME: Michael Duff poses for photographs at Huddersfield Town's Canalside training ground

Duff, who took Barnsley to the League One play-off final in his sole season in charge with the Reds, said: “The squad that is left over is a good squad. There will be changes in the next six or seven weeks, some of which you want and some of which you won’t want. That’s part and parcel of the business.

"Ultimately, it’s having an infrastructure where if a player leaves, who is the replacement and that is the beauty of having this time now (from mid-May).

"I think there will be investment. I think it’s a different scenario where we don’t have to sell and that won’t be a fire-sale here.

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"If people buy players, they are going to have to meet the asking price. That’s the support we had from the owner and difference from Barnsley and here.

"We had to sell players and we knew that. We don’t have to do that here now.”

Alongside building a winning mentality, Duff will also be assigned with changing the culture of a playing squad which came in for major criticism from his predecessor Andre Breitenreiter, who said that he had experienced many ‘unacceptable’ things from some players which he had never previously seen in 30 years in professional football.

Duff, who has already spoken to captain Jonathan Hogg to gauge his views, continued: “I’ve listened to the interviews and watched them and Andre was quite damning in his assessment, which I understand.

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"He’s probably as frustrated as much as everyone else. But that’s what happens at a football club which isn’t succeeding, everyone blames everyone. Misery loves a best mate.

"When you are not winning every week, that’s when you get little fractures in the dressing room and in the staff and everyone blames everyone else and then ultimately after two or three years or that, you end up with an inevitable relegation.

"It’s important we try to nip all those agendas and different people’s directions in the bud.”

Duff, who left Swansea in December, had previous chances to return to management this year, but wanted to wait for the right opportunity, which he considers the Town job to be.

He was linked with a recent return to Barnsley.

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He added: "It’s not fair to talk about other clubs as I have probably spoken to eight or nine clubs. I spoke to the clubs and felt this was the right one and I absolutely jumped at the opportunity once we had conversations and talks with the owners.”