LEE NOVAK has every confidence Huddersfield Town can follow Norwich and Southampton in taking the Championship by storm.
The Geordie frontman played all bar five minutes of an absorbing League I play-off final and finished the season with 17 goals to add to a pile of assists.
Popular Novak, 23, is hoping Town can keep hold of star striker Jordan Rhodes for their shot at the higher division but is in bullish mood anyway.
“I think we are Championship players and better anyway, so I have every confidence we can do a Norwich or a Southampton,” he said.
“When the doubters said they wouldn’t do it, they went and proved them wrong – and that’s the next aim.
“There’s no reason why we can’t be successful in the Championship, no reason at all, and that’s what we’ll set our sights on achieving.”
On Rhodes, Novak added: “He is the best player I have ever played with and one of my best friends; we’ve become really close,” he said.
“I am hoping we can do something so that he stays but, at the end of the day, he is a Premiership-quality player and Premiership clubs want Premiership players.
“It’s going to be hard, but if we keep him it will be a massive bonus for us and can only benefit Huddersfield Town.
“We’ve got a cracking young squad with the likes of Jack Hunt, Danny Ward and Alex Smithies, plus the experience of people like Peter Clarke, so there is no reason why we can’t go up and do it.”
Novak revealed he was gutted not to be able to take a penalty in the shoot-out which Town won 8-7.
“It was really, really hot out on the pitch and quite a few people were struggling with cramp,” he said of the 40-degree temperatures.
“I was sick that the gaffer brought me off because I knew I wouldn’t be able to take a penalty, but I couldn’t physically move any more because I’d run that far.
“I’d every confidence in Alex in the shoot-out, because he saves penalties every day in training and he’s done it at crucial times in matches as well, so I thought he would do well.”
Of his own season, Novak added: “The main thing was to get promoted, but I’m happy with 17 goals and quite a few assists.
“It’s been brilliant just to play alongside Jordan and Alan Lee all season and, whatever happens to Jordan, it’s been a pleasure, we are good friends and I am hoping for the best and we can persuade him to stay.”