IT says everything about how Huddersfield Town performed on their return to the top table of English football that they spent just eight days in the relegation zone.
To put that into context, West Bromwich Albion were in the bottom three for 151 days, just ahead of Crystal Palace (138), Stoke City (121) and Swansea City (120).
Other long-term residents in the drop zone during 2017-18 included West Ham United (87), Bournemouth (76) and Southampton (76), while even Everton had 20 days among the so-called ‘dead men’ of the Premier League.
For Town to stay ahead of such established top-flight clubs for all but those eight days in February that ended with a 4-1 thumping of Bournemouth is testament to the hard work and team ethic that goalkeeper Jonas Lossl insists was behind an incredible save of his at Chelsea last week.
“My save against Chelsea was made by 10 others and me,” said the Danish international about the diving, fingertip stop from Andreas Christensen that ensured the Terriers claimed the point required to guarantee safety.
“We were all involved as a team. The blocks everyone made were incredible. I have watched it a few times – just a few – and we were all involved.”
Lossl’s shunning of personal glory in favour of the team is typical of the selfless attitude that took head coach David Wagner’s men to safety.
Huddersfield, despite an unprecedented outlay in last summer’s transfer market, remained the same band of brothers who had so shocked the Championship in 2016-17.
This is credit to Wagner and his staff, who work so hard behind the scenes on not only fostering this spirit, but also signing players with the right character in the first place.
A repeat once the summer transfer window opens tomorrow would be most welcome, as will once again enjoying a strong start to the campaign in August.
Town’s back-to-back wins over Crystal Palace and Newcastle United not only put the club briefly in pole position, meaning they joined Manchester City (240 days), Manchester United (34) and Arsenal (1) as the four teams to spend time on top of the table.
It also brought a points cushion that, when the going predictably got tough as winter set in, kept the Terriers clear of the drop zone against all the odds.
Left-back Chris Lowe said: “If you just see the stats of our last season in the Championship then it was not a surprise we were not the favourites to stay up.
“But, like last year, a really strong dressing room and good manager saw us achieve. We stick together and that is what made us strong.
“The fans also played their part. Home or away they have helped us a lot. They kept us going over the season by being behind us. It is important that we continue in this way next season.”
Holding on to Wagner seems key if Lowe’s belief that the club’s upwards trajectory can be maintained is to prove justified.
There is certain to be strong interest in the 46-year-old, to whom Lossl admits the entire squad owe a huge debt.
He said: “The manager here has been brilliant. I have a big, big respect for him. I also owe him a lot. He gave me this opportunity along with his trust. I appreciate that.
“The way he plays and his style suits me perfectly. This has been a dream year, everything I could dream about when I arrived. I am very, very happy.”