IAN CRANEY is aiming to make his Town debut against MK Dons on Saturday and told the fans: “I’m on fire at the moment!”
The 26-year-old midfielder has scored in each of his last two matches for Accrington Stanley and is keen to continue that form after penning a £200,000-plus three-year deal for manager Stan Ternent.
“It’s a great time for me to be coming here because I’ve had a good pre-season, I’ve started off with a couple of goals already and I’m on fire at the moment,” said Craney, who had a year left on his contract at the League II club.
“I want to take that forward into Saturday’s game, if selected, and show that I’m ready to take what is a big step for me.
“I’m at the age now which is supposed to be your prime, so I’m hoping these next three years are going to be the best of my career.
“I certainly wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t believe we could win promotion and when you look at the place, the stadium and the fan base, everything is geared up for the Championship in my opinion.”
Craney was a Conference winner alongside Town’s £250,000 signing from Ipswich, Gary Roberts, and he didn’t take long to agree to renew the acquaintance.
“Gary is my best mate in football and one of my best friends outside the game as well and he really sold the club to me,” said Craney, who was a £150,000 signing for Swansea before returning to Lancashire.
“Robbo really loves it here and he told me lots of positive things. We had great times together playing for Accrington and hopefully we can rekindle those times here. I know he has made a good start for the club and I want to do the same.
“The gaffer hasn’t really said a lot to me about what he expects of me, but I know in my own mind that I’ve got to perform and produce the goods in matches – that’s what counts.
“I’m a very determined sort of person and I haven’t come here just to make up the numbers, I want to play every match and that means starting on Saturday when, hopefully, I’ll be selected.”
Craney explained he’s doubly determined to make a success of his move to the Galpharm, where he played for Swansea in a 3-2 defeat (earning a spot kick from which Lee Trundle scored) in December 2006.
“I went down to Swansea from Accrington and had a great start down there,” he explained.
“I was a regular in the side and doing well, but then Kenny Jackett was sacked as manager and that was unsettling for me as he’d just taken me to the club.
“In fairness to Roberto Martinez, he was great to me, but he kept bringing in players in my position – I prefer to play in central midfield – and it soon became clear to me that the best thing I could do was to get out and play some games.
“That’s why I went back to Accrington last season. Swansea had accepted a bid from Peterborough for me, so I knew my time was up down there, but that move fell through, so I decided to stay at Accrington.
“It enabled me to find my feet again and restored my confidence and now I’m determined to prove that I can make that step up.
“It left a bad feeling in my stomach when I left Swansea because I hadn’t really fulfilled my ambition of playing at the higher level – so that’s what I want to do here. I want to 100% fulfil my ambition with Huddersfield Town.”
Other than Roberts, Craney doesn’t know any of the Town players closely, but he did play against them in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Galpharm only a few weeks ago.
“I’m told there’s a good team spirit here and that’s important,” he said.
“It’s a shame I’m cup-tied with Sheffield United coming up – I don’t enjoy watching as much as playing – but I know the club’s priority is very much the league.
“We need to perform to do that and I’m very much looking forward to being involved.
“I like to get on the ball in midfield and I also like to get forward and have plenty of pops at goal. I’m a box-to-box player who can do the other side of the game as well, but I think the gaffer has probably brought me in to score some goals from midfield and that’s a challenge I’ll enjoy.”