HUDDERSFIELD TOWN head coach Jan Siewert admits the next few weeks will be spent with one eye on next season’s Championship.
The Terriers’ relegation was confirmed last weekend with six games still to play – a joint record in the Premier League era.
Fulham followed suit in midweek, albeit in their 33rd match of the season, to leave just one berth in the drop zone still to avoid.
Only Derby County had previously been demoted before the end of March, but Town’s demise does mean the focus can partly switch towards preparing for next season.
“I will be keeping an eye on the Championship at the same time as our final six matches,” admitted Siewert.
“I can go to matches and have a look at them, and I will have meetings with players, which is normal for me as a manager.
“So it is exciting to have all this and then more matches in the Premier League.”
Fulham’s demise after spending more than £100m last summer following promotion is in stark contrast to the approach taken by Huddersfield.
After posting a profit of £23.3m in the financial year to June 30, 2018, Town have once again underlined their determination to use the Premier League cash windfall wisely by investing up to £20m in an overhaul of the club’s Canalside training ground.
Siewert added: “I agree it’s not all about money, although it does help.
“It is about character, too. Look at Karlan Grant. He was not a big-money signing but he is a good character and he tries everything.
“Big-money players can make a difference in games – look at (Wilfried) Zaha last week – but I think we have gone to the Premier League and been there without spending crazy money.
“The important thing for me is that we have to find the right characters for this club, who are really willing to fight and who are hungry.
“We have to look at everyone going forward. Everyone is still here, we have to see what they do in training and this is normal.”
This seems certain to be a busy summer at the John Smith’s Stadium. The omission of Jonas Lossl, Philip Billing and Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen from the match-day squad of 18 at Crystal Palace last weekend suggests the Danish international trio will be on their way.
Aaron Mooy seems certain to have a list of suitors, while others lured to Huddersfield by the promise of Premier League football may well look to pastures new.
Christopher Schindler, handed the captaincy by Siewert, did raise Town fans’ spirits earlier this week when he said, “as it stands I am staying next season”.
There is likely to be interest in the 28-year-old, particularly from Germany, but if the Terriers are to bounce back at the first attempt then keeping characters such as Schindler will be key.
As for the final half-dozen games that start with today’s game with Leicester City, Siewert added: “I never experiment. I go with the training and look who is performing.”