Huddersfield Town v Brentford - Spirit of Foxes is required to save the Terriers
It is often said that you find out who your real friends are during tough times.
For Huddersfield Town duo and former Leicester City team-mates Danny Simpson and Andy King, that certainly rings true.
Simpson was quick to profess his delight on social media at the addition of his big buddy to the Terriers’ cause this week after the Welsh international joined from the Foxes on loan for the rest of the season.
The pair have a history – both in good times and bad.
Premier League title winners with Leicester in 2015-16 – which will rank as one of the most spell-binding achievements ever by an English club – the pair found themselves on the periphery and frozen out under Claude Puel just two seasons later.
King – who had played nearly 400 games for the club and contributed to Leicester’s rise from League One to the top-flight – even suffered the ignominy of not even being given a squad number.
For two senior players, a match-day diet of under-23 matches was thin gruel after their earlier substantial highs.
But they stuck together and now find themselves pitted in Huddersfield’s Championship survival scrap.
Simpson said: “Every single one from those on the bench (at Leicester in 2015-16) and playing and the goalkeepers right up to Jamie Vardy are close.
“But there was a situation with Claude Puel and Kingy didn’t make the 25 and I did. We were not in the picture and got sent off to the under 23’s. But we were still professional.
“Sometimes, when you go into that situation, some lads can try and drag you down.
“But we bounced off each other and stayed positive and that is the sort of lad who Kingy is.
“We maybe got a bit closer then as we were both in a similar situation, but both trying to stay positive and be professional.
“Definitely, you find more out in tough times. It is football – you come through it and grow and move on.”
Many of Leicester’s title-winning class may have now gone their separate ways, but all will be revered in the East Midlands city in the years and decades to come with the bond between the squad being a lasting and enduring one.
They all keep in touch and chat about their current fortunes, with a Whatsapp group of Leicester players past and present helping King get an early lowdown on the club he was destined to join in Huddersfield.
Updates from Simpson have kept others in the loop about him, his career and his experiences in West Yorkshire after joining the club last autumn.
The group also includes an £80m world-record defender in Harry Maguire, with the Yorkshireman and former Sheffield United and Hull City centre-half keeping in regular touch with his former team-mates
Simpson said: “We have our little Whatsapp group and stay in contact with each other pretty much every other day. I am glad he is (King) here and I know he will be a massive help for us for the rest of the season.
“Everyone goes down different paths. But Harry is in the group and we all know what Harry Maguire is doing. It is good that everyone stays in contact and are checking each other and seeing that they are all all right. If they have won or done well, we are all in the group together.
“Kingy knew a lot more than you probably thought as the lads were talking about how happy I was playing at Huddersfield and had been on a good run.
“Everyone was talking about it, so he knew a lot about Huddersfield anyway before it became an option.”
Helping Town retain their Championship status may be a far cry from pushing for the biggest domestic honour in English football, but for Simpson, the principles you require to be successful bare similarities.
Talent, a strong dressing room and team unity are key components, with the side destined for glory at Leicester City ultimately forged from adversity, in his view.
He said: “Let’s be honest, that’s how it started off.
“We had that great escape at Leicester and it just continued because we had that team spirit.
“It is just as important as being down at the bottom as being at the top.
“It is probably more important if you are down at the bottom, to be honest.
“Kingy is a top player, top lad and professional and perfect off the pitch. I know what he is capable of on and off the pitch and he’s a great signing.”