Newly promoted club kick off their 2017/18 campaign against Crystal Palace on Saturday
Kasey Palmer undented by predictions of doom as Huddersfield Town set out on Premier League quest
It has become a rite of passage for promoted clubs. Come up, and be tipped to go straight back down. As Huddersfield Town prepare for their inaugural Premier League fixture, at Crystal Palace on Saturday, they already have an inkling of how it feels. They were tipped for relegation in some quarters last year and ended the campaign winning the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
It is understandable their confidence is undented by predictions of doom. “We don’t feel we are going to get relegated, of course so we will give our best and see where that gets us,” said the midfielder Kasey Palmer.
The on-loan Chelsea player helped defy predictions from the off 12 months ago, making his senior debut against Brentford on the opening day and scoring a winner. A year later, Huddersfield kick off against other opponents from London.
“I think we will just do what we did last year, go on the grass and play how we know we can play,” said Palmer, who has been borrowed by Huddersfield for a second successive season. “Obviously it is going to be a different challenge playing against all the big teams, the best teams in the world with the best players but all we can do is give our best.”
Palmer counts as one of 10 summer signings. So do midfielder Aaron Mooy and forward Elias Kachunga, who were both on loan and have now been bought. Other faces have changed, but the ethos will remain the same.
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“It is just about getting used to how each other play, building relationships on the pitch and corresponding off it,” said Palmer.
One of manager David Wagner’s plans to foster friendships was to draw names out of a hat to determine room-mates on their pre-season tour of Austria. Newcomers Mathias Jorgensen and Danny Williams were paired and got on well.
Huddersfield’s team spirit has been apparent as they have come from behind to secure draws against Stuttgart and Torino in pre-season. It is also an indication of the fitness that was crucial to a high-energy side’s success last season.
“If we outwork the opposition we are always good on the ball, we want to play football,” Palmer said. “I don’t think that is going to change. We outplayed most teams in the Championship and obviously it is going to be difficult but we are going to keep to the same philosophy and try and play out from the back and it is going to be the same but at another level in the Premier League.”
The anticipation has been building. Huddersfield sold out their 2,887-seat allocation at Selhurst Park a week ago. One midfielder, the injured Jonathan Hogg, is also set to have a watching brief. Another, Palmer, may begin on the bench with summer recruit Tom Ince taking his preferred role as the No 10 against Torino. But he started as a substitute on the opening day last season and came on to decide the game. On the day and over the season, Huddersfield must hope history repeats itself.