Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 November 2019

Championship play-off final: Hero Christopher Schindler hails hard-working Huddersfield for EPL promotion

David Wagner's side defeat Jaap Stam's Reading 4-3 on spot-kicks after goalless 120 minutes at Wembley Stadium.
Christopher Schindler of Huddersfield Town celebrates scoring the winning penalty in the penalty shoot out after the Championship play-off final against Reading at Wembley Stadium on May 29, 2017 in London, England. Getty Images
Christopher Schindler of Huddersfield Town celebrates scoring the winning penalty in the penalty shoot out after the Championship play-off final against Reading at Wembley Stadium on May 29, 2017 in London, England. Getty Images

Huddersfield Town’s penalty hero Christopher Schindler put the club’s Championship play-off victory over Reading at Wembley Stadium down to the effort put in over the whole season.

The German converted the final spot kick to seal a 4-3 penalty success after the game had finished 0-0 at the end of extra time.

Schindler told Sky Sports 1: “It’s unbelievable. We put so much effort into the whole season. I think we deserved it and the feeling is unbelievable now.”

He said of his decisive contribution: “The heart rate was pretty high. I think nobody is 100 per cent comfortable taking a penalty.

“I’m so happy that I’m here with this wonderful team. I think we are going to have a party now.”

Huddersfield goalkeeper Danny Ward, who saved Jordan Obita’s penalty to give Schindler the chance to score the winner, paid tribute to manager David Wagner after the victory.

He said: “I think the manager plays a huge part, especially with the people he brought in during the summer.

“It still hasn’t quite sunk in. It just sums our season up to be honest. It’s fully deserved.

“The desire the group have got to hang in there is unbelievable.”

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Michael Hefele missed his own spot kick early in the shootout and said: “It was the worst moment in my career but I think we just stick together.

“Everybody achieved such a big thing, we are now in the Premier League with Huddersfield Town. Such a small club is now in the best league in the world, it’s just crazy.”

Huddersfield manager David Wagner sent a message to Queens Park rangers manager Ian Holloway after sampling play-off success.

Holloway was working as a TV pundit at the start of the season when he predicted Huddersfield would be relegated by the end of the campaign.

After seeing his side reach the Premier League, with Holloway’s QPR having been involved in their own fight to stave off the drop, Wagner was in the mood to celebrate.

He said: “By the way, Ian Holloway, all the best for next season. I know a lot of the pundits wrote us off at the start of the season.

“I think around Christmas I thought we have a real chance to come into the play-offs.

“I think this whole group of players deserved it over the season.”

Reading manager Jaap Stam paid tribute to his players after the agonising defeat.

He said: “The boys worked very hard today, It wasn’t the easiest of games.

“That’s how it goes. There’s no blame to nobody, everybody is working hard. Penalties is always a lottery.

“I’m very proud of the team and what they have achieved this season.”

* Press Association

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Updated: May 29, 2017 04:00 AM

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