Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Terrier Trevor Cherry backs Huddersfield to avoid Premier League drop

Former Huddersfield and England defender Trevor Cherry believes the club will survive their first season in the Premier League.

The Terriers are the bookmakers' favourites for relegation after winning promotion to the top flight for the first time in 45 years via the play-off final at Wembley in May.

But Cherry, Huddersfield born and bred and who played for the Terriers during their last two seasons in the old First Division before relegation in 1972, expects head coach David Wagner to keep them up.

"I actually do," Cherry told Press Association Sport. "I think they can do it as long as Wagner's still got his work ethic instilled into them from last season.

"They had some good away wins and he's got a team that can play, if you like. They can perform and he gets the best out of them.

"So I think they'll get enough points to just about stay up. I think there's Brighton, Bournemouth and Burnley who Town will be competing with.

"I don't know a lot about Watford but they could be down there, and Swansea. If Wagner can keep the same work ethic as last season, which I'm sure he will, Town will be a difficult team to beat."

Wagner has made nine new signings since captain Christopher Schindler converted the winning spot-kick at Wembley in their penalty shoot-out triumph against Reading.

The Terriers have paid a new club-record fee, reported to be £11.5million, for Montpellier striker Steve Mounie and £8m to turn Australia international Aaron Mooy's loan from Manchester City into a permanent move.

Winger Thomas Ince, from Derby, midfielder Kasey Palmer, back on a season-long loan from Chelsea, and Denmark centre-half Mathias Jorgensen are among the other new arrivals.

"It's brilliant for the town," said Cherry, who made his Terriers debut aged 17.

"The chairman Dean Hoyle deserves everything because he had a tough time initially, and it's great for the club and everyone concerned.

"He's very special to stick with it, because I think there must have been times when he thought 'what's going on?'

"He put a lot of money in and didn't really have any success and then it all came together when he bought Mr Wagner in.

"It was a completely out-of-the-box appointment, but it's turned out to be a fantastic one."

Ian Greaves was Town's last top-flight manager. He led them to promotion in 1970, but they were relegated two years later and four years after that the club had dropped like a stone into the bottom tier.

Cherry signed for Don Revie's Leeds when Town dropped out of the top flight and went on to make 27 England appearances.

"It was hard for my father because he was Town through-and-through and he wasn't a big fans of Leeds," Cherry said.

"But to be honest he could see that going there was going to help me get my England caps. It was a bitter-sweet pill."

Cherry feels Wagner's promotion success, in his first full season as head coach, eclipses that achieved by Greaves.

"Probably yes, because the gap now between the Premier League and the Championship is massive with the finances involved in the game," Cherry said.

"It was a great achievement by us but I think this supersedes it. Town really had no right to go up, it really is a tremendous achievement.

"It's fantastic for the town and for the supporters to see Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, those sorts of teams all coming to the John Smith's Stadium. It's out of this world really."

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