DEAN HOYLE would like nothing better than to lead Huddersfield Town into the Premier League – but is adamant he will not let his dream of top-flight football put the club’s future in jeopardy.
The owner-chairman was delighted to see Simon Grayson’s side return to the Championship play-off places thanks to their 1-0 derby win at Barnsley.
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But the former greetings card magnate who savoured League I promotion play-off glory at Wembley in May insists staying in the second tier remains the chief objective this season.
“That doesn’t mean we’re not going to give it a really good shot,” explained Hoyle, who joined the board in April 2008 and became chairman and majority shareholder in June 2009.
“But we haven’t got here by accident, and it’s absolutely crucial that all the hard work of the last three years isn’t undone, and that means staying in the Championship.
“Of course I’d like to be up at the top end of the table all season, but the first objective is to remain in the division and there’s no pressure on the manager in terms of a promotion challenge.
“We’ve seen the likes of Hull, Blackpool and Burnley go up, and we’d love it to happen for us, of course we would.
“But would putting pressure on the manager and players make them perform any better? I don’t think it would.”
It’s Town’s first campaign at this level for 11 years and Hoyle added: “We’re all enjoying it – myself, the manager, the players and hopefully the supporters.
“It’s the fourth best supported league in the world, and for Huddersfield Town to be a part of it is fantastic.
“I’m very happy at the start we have made and the way the manager and players have acquitted themselves in a very competitive environment.
“You come into the club and see the smiles around the place, and that’s very reassuring and encouraging, but we have to keep our feet on the ground.
“It is only a start. We’re in a great position in terms of the table, but there’s a long, long way to go still and we all know how things can change in football.
“We’ve seen encouraging signs – the wins at Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool and beating Wolves at home.
“Then there was our fightback against a Blackburn side who had recently bought one of our best players (Jordan Rhodes) for £8m.
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“You look at their players’ budget and it must be five times the size of ours, so to be matching them is pleasing.
“I think we’re benefiting from being the underdogs, and after three seasons of being under pressure to win week in, week out, I think we all appreciate the difference.
“When you look at the clubs we’re coming up against, you realise it’s a terrific division the be involved in.
“The grounds are bigger, the attendances higher and clubs coming to our place are bringing big followings and therefore helping create a great atmosphere.
“People say it’s unpredictable in terms of any side being able to beat another, and that’s been proved right so far.
“That means that whoever can get some consistency is going to be successful, and that’s what Simon and his staff are working so hard at to achieve.”
Town have totted up eight wins, at home to Burnley, Derby, Wolves and Bristol City and away to Sheffield Wednesday, Blackpool, Birmingham and Barnsley.
There have also been draws against Nottingham Forest (home), Ipswich (away) and Blackburn (home) ahead of Saturday’s visit of Brighton.
“We’ve had our setbacks in terms of five defeats, but the good thing is that we’ve been able to bounce back,” added Hoyle.
“After losing at home to Watford and Leicester, we went to Birmingham and won convincingly, and then after being beaten at Peterborough and Millwall, we beat Bristol City.
“That’s a reflection of the tenacity and hard work of the management staff and players, and long may it continue.”