Go on Town – kick off the season with a sizzling victory!
That will be the hope of a bumper home support when David Wagner’s men launch the Championship campaign against Brentford at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Never in my 31 years reporting on the club can I remember such excitement about the 46 matches to come, even though there seems to be a fair dose of realism.
This time last year, few had even heard of David Wagner, but his arrival in November heralded a whole new approach from the club to the playing side of the game.
Fair enough, progress in the table has yet to materialise and the two closing results of last season were embarrassing – not least the 5-1 thrashing at home by Brentford.
But the German head coach has now put his own stamp on the squad with 12 senior arrivals in the summer – and fans have bought into the ‘#WagnerRevolution’ magnificently.
A total of 15,023 cut-price season cards have been bought and it’s certain Town will be playing to their highest first-day crowd since 1970, when they were in what is now the Premier League (old First Division).
They have warmed to the flurry of transfer activity, and it was significant Town did a lot of their business early.
Those deals had long been lined up, with Wagner and director of football operations Stuart Webber doing their homework and chairman Dean Hoyle backing them to the hilt.
Town have already invested around £5m with a month of the transfer window to go, and it’s no wonder supporters are optimistic for an improved campaign – one in which a top-half place should be the driving force.
Not only does the squad include a club record signing in centre-back Christopher Schindler (£1.8m from 1860 Munich), but the quality of the loan players (three from the Premier League) is excellent.
Manchester City’s Aaron Mooy, Chelsea’s England Under 21 international Kasey Palmer and Liverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward should all make a significant mark, while Schindler, Chris Lowe and Michael Hefele are brimming with ambition from the Bundesliga.
Then you have people like Ivan Paurevic, Jon Gorenc Stankovic and Elias Kachunga who are itching to give the Championship a shake, not to mention Jack Payne, the No10 signing from Southend United who I reckon could be one of the stars of the season.
While fans are realistic about the difficulty of competing in what looks a mega-tough division, a fast start at home would be a massive tonic.
Wagner has made his input, both in the transfer market and on the pre-season training field, and now it’s up to the players to deliver.
One thing’s for sure, they can’t point to a lack of support if they don’t, either from the boardroom or from the stands.