I’m very happy with how things are going for Huddersfield Town both on and off the field.
It was another fine point for David Wagner’s side against Leicester City and I believe they can continue to add to the tally at Burnley.
Let’s be honest, the Carabao Cup defeat at Crystal Palace is simply something to accept and move on, because Town have far more important priorities this season.
The draw against Leicester was exactly what Town needed.
It was important not to be beaten and not to be a soft touch – and that was good to see after the performance down at West Ham.
A similar sort of approach at Burnley will serve Town well, because single points are massively important if you can’t get hold of the three.
It’s a short trip over for the fans, so Town will have tremendous vocal backing and they’ve so much to be positive about.
I can’t stress enough, however, the importance of being tough to beat – like Town showed against Leicester.
And I think the way Town play – keeping the ball so well – gives them vital breathing space.
Most Premier League sides are happy to let the opposition have the ball in certain quarters, but when you keep the ball like Town it gets you into the game, builds confidence and lets you find your shape.
It probably won’t deliver many goals when the game is tight, but when Town play with the right tempo they are always going to be in a game, because they are coming from a solid defensive set-up throughout the team.
It’s been so far, so good and Town again have everything to play for at Burnley.
Turf Moor, I have to say, has a special place in my heart as it is where I made my first ever Football League appearance for Fulham many, many years ago.
We were 3-0 down with 10 minutes to go and Malcolm Macdonald threw me on for the closing minutes.
Disappointingly, I remember, I should have scored.
I went round the keeper in the last minute and should have bagged a consolation, but my effort was cleared off the line.
It still haunts me to this day that I missed that perfect chance!
Coincidentally, I was injured for quite a long time after that but, when I returned, I made my first Football League start at Turf Moor as well, and we managed to draw 2-2.
I will finish by talking about Town’s decision to close the age-group element of the Academy to focus on the Under 18s and Under 23s.
To be honest, it is something I expected quite a while ago.
Even when I was working at the club in the late 90s and early 2000s, it was always an uphill battle against Premier League clubs coming in and hoovering up the best talent.
It was fantastic, obviously, when Town came out of administration that they could call on their youth development to provide players for the first team which won promotion under Peter Jackson, but that was a different level and a different time.
While it’s nice to have a youth set-up from Under 8 upwards if it’s actually working for you, it’s not practical and a waste of resource if it’s not.
It really does seem sensible to invest in scouting talent at an older level (remember Tommy Smith came into the Under 23s from Manchester City, along with Harry Bunn) and pick up some players from Premier League Academies or abroad where the basic groundwork should have been done, with technique and tactical awareness in place.
And there are literally hundreds to pick from who might just make it through for you when they haven’t quite been able to do it elsewhere, for whatever reason.
Premier League clubs are awash with players who aren’t really going to get a sniff of the first team – look at Chelsea, and Town benefited through the loan system last year with Kasey Palmer and Izzy Brown.
And they should continue to look to exploit that part of the market.
I understand the decision to remove the age-group section at Town is really disappointing for the kids, many of whom will have been playing for the club for a good few years, but it is certainly not the end of the road.
If local kids are good enough they will find a way through.
Professional football is brutal and, while it is sad for the young players affected and for the staff who have worked there over a long period of time, the reality, unfortunately, is it had to go.