Tommy Smith says David Wagner’s decision to reject Wolfsburg sends out a serious message about the ambition at Huddersfield Town.
The 24-year-old has blossomed at right-back this season and, in addition to his impressive form, has taken the captain’s armband on occasions in the absence of club skipper Mark Hudson.
Smith says speculation about the head coach’s future – he was strongly linked with interest from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg following Town’s 2-1 win at Norwich City last time out – will not affect the approach to the Nottingham Forest Boxing Day assignment.
Asked what it says about Town that Wagner turned down a team who were Champions League last-eight last season, Smith said: “I suppose it sends out a big message – he obviously feels there is something special building here and he wants to be a part of that.
“It’s great for the lads to be a part of that as well and, hopefully, we can do something special.
“Other people can think what they want about us, we like to keep ourselves to ourselves and go about things in a proper manner.
“We are a team, we stick together and we will see what happens – taking things game by game and business as usual.”
Smith revealed it never got to the stage where the playing squad were nervous about Wagner leaving, although members of the roster did text and call the boss about what was happening as speculation intensified.
“The gaffer has come back in and told us the situation happened, there has been whatever there has been and we just get on with it as normal – we have to,” said the former Manchester City graduate.
“Until someone tells us differently he is our manager, he is the manager of the football club and we want him to be here – and we are happy that he is here.
“The speculation doesn’t affect us. He is a good manager and he has come here and done really well, so there is obviously going to be interest in him, as there is with other managers around the league.
“We just continue as normal. He is here, he is our manager and we carry on as normal.
“As the gaffer has said himself, we are trying to build something special here. We have a good bunch of lads, a good staff and we will try and do our very best throughout the course of the season”
A fixture in 20 of Town’s 22 Championship outings so far (he didn’t play in the EFL Cup defeat at Shrewsbury), Smith says targeting four wins on the trot against Forest is a vital yardstick in the season.
“The three wins in a week was very important for us,” he explained.
“Before those games we had a bit of bad form. The performances weren’t too bad but the results were – and we didn’t feel we were getting the points we deserved.
“So to come out of a three-game week with maximum points was brilliant – a great return – and the performances were good as well, so we were delighted.
“I think we are showing we can win in different ways as well.
“We want to play how we want to play, but it sometimes doesn’t work out like that.
“The Burton match was a prime example. It was a different type of win but, ultimately, we came out with three points.
“Then we went to Norwich and played completely differently, but we still got the three points and that’s what it is all about.
“The more often we can get those maximum points the longer we will stay where we are in the league table.”