YOU suspect that well-known phrase of an Englishman’s home being his castle has percolated down to Huddersfield Town’s Germanic contingent.
Home is truly where the heart is as far as Town’s Premier League adventure is concerned.
A choice scalp has already been taken, that of Manchester United, while Manchester City’s bandwagon left this quarter of West Yorkshire only just about intact.
Raucous Town supporters at John Smith’s Stadium have also added colour and vibrancy to the top-flight tapestry.
They are making a name for themselves with their fervent backing just as did Crystal Palace’s Holmesdale Fanatics famously by creating an ‘ultra’ atmosphere a few years ago following the Eagles’ elevation to the big time.
For away sides it can make for an intimidating arena and, in a division where the margins are tight between those teams who do not find themselves among the league’s elite, you take any extra edge or added few percentage points that comesyour way.
It could prove key in the final analysis next May for head coach David Wagner’s troops.
Given Town’s lamentable away statistics, the smart money is currently on their home form – and continuing to make the John Smith’s Stadium an imposing citadel – proving to be a fundamental factor in the club achieving their mission statement of top-flight survival.
Four home league games arrive this month starting with today’s visit of Brighton.
Chelsea, Stoke City and Burnley will follow.
As a team we all talk about it in the changing rooms and we are impressed by how big the support is in every single home game; it is electric. We need this to put pressure on the opponents and the referee or on the performances of opposing players.Huddersfield Town’s Christopher Schindler
It is unlikely to be straightforward, but head coach Wagner and defensive lynchpin and vice-captain Christopher Schindler feel they can bank on one reassuring constant.
Namely the support of twenty-odd thousand passionate Town supporters who are living the dream and happy to tell the watching world too.
Schindler admits that the all-in-it-together fans’ atmosphere is in marked contrast to the pressure-laden environment at former club TSV 1860 Munich.
He said: “This is unbelievable. In this period now, where we have dropped a few games and not just the result was not good, but the performance was not great, the support has still been immense and that is what we need to have a chance of staying up.
“As a team we all talk about it in the changing rooms and we are impressed by how big the support is in every single home game; it is electric.
“We need this to put pressure on the opponents and the referee or on the performances of opposing players.
“That is maybe the reason why we have our home form, which we also had last season.
“At my former club (1860) it is quite comparable to Leeds (United) here maybe – with a big past, a lot of expectation and expectation that is not in the real world.
“It was like that, so there was a lot of frustration as well and when we were not doing well in the second division the atmosphere put pressure on the home side. When there was a misplaced pass or if the first 10 minutes were not great, the crowd would boo.
“Here it is totally different as everyone knows where we have come from. This makes it way easier.”
Schindler’s experiences in Munich have also been useful in providing perspective regarding the pressure that comes with the territory in the top flight.
Crucially, for Town, it is the right sort of pressure clearly.
Peaks and troughs may have arrived in terms of results, but cool heads pervade in the dressing room.
A run of four successive league losses, heading into this afternoon’s game, may not be ideal.
But a current placing of 16th and a five-point buffer above the side occupying the final relegation spot in Crystal Palace suggests that Town are still on track.
“We should see every game as a highlight and not feel a lot of pressure. A lot of people wrote us off before the season started, but we are still in a good position. That is why we should be self-confident,” observed Schindler.
“We knew the quality of the Premier League would be really high and it is also ruthless and so difficult to win against the top six teams. Every game is a massive challenge, that is why we knew there may be a period where we do not win or get results.
“We should use this period to get stronger and grow together and come out of it and get results back. I would not say the next month decides how the season lands as there are many games after that.”
As a player who not only exudes calm authority on the pitch but unflappability off it as well, Schindler was not unduly ruffled when questioned ahead of this weekend’s game on reports from his native Germany suggesting he was pining for home.
At this time of year being away from friends and family has its downside, but Schindler believes that some comments attributed to him being homesick were taken out of context.
The main home front in which he plainly remains interested is Town’s vital on-pitch statistics in West Yorkshire.
Schindler added: “The story is part of the business and I accept it as well, especially when the person who writes it is not actually in the room when I was talking.
“It is important for me to say what I meant and I was on about things like Christmas, when there are days when you miss your family and home.
“I am not the only one here who feels ‘homesick’ as it is something natural for every human being.
“That is what I wanted to say. He (German journalist) thought I was saying something different, but I would not make a big thing of it because it is not. I am feeling really comfortable here.”