HUDDERSFIELD Town's Sean Morrison doesn’t know if he’ll be playing in the Premiership, Championship or League I next season but he’s certain about one thing – if Town do themselves justice at Wembley they’ll win.
The 21-year-old centre-back on loan from Reading – who paid tribute to the influence of skipper Peter Clarke on his impressive performances – has 22 appearances for Town so far and he’s determined to make No23 particularly special in front of 70,000 fans at the national stadium.
That crowd will include his family and more than 20 friends up from Plymouth, but while Morrison intends to “savour the moment” of playing in the biggest game of his career, his sole priority is defeating Sheffield United and earning promotion to the Championship.
“The gaffer has told us to make sure we come off the field having no regrets and he’s right, because if we give everything in the game and do ourselves justice then I can see only one winner at the end of the day,” said Morrison.
“It’s no good getting to the final whistle thinking we could have done more, and I don’t think that will happen because we’ve got a fantastic squad here and a tremendous spirit.
“While the build-up has been relaxed, there’s been a buzz in training, you can tell everyone is looking forward to the game and, hopefully, everyone is ready to go in the final.”
Morrison has been to Wembley for the last two seasons with the Swindon and Reading squads who lost – and he’s pleased to be playing this time so that he can have some influence on what he hopes will be a different outcome.
“We have to be confident and we have to believe we are going to win, otherwise there is no point turning up,” said the tall and strong defender.
“I am going into the game with the highest of expectations – both for myself and the team – because I believe we are going to win and I’m sure the rest of the lads feel that way too.
“Those who were involved last year at Old Trafford will no doubt be driven on by that experience and not want a repeat, and any incentive anyone wants to take to avoid the pain of defeat has to be a good thing.
“It’s the most cruel way to finish a season, getting to the play-off final and not winning. Like the gaffer says, if you don’t win the final you might as well have finished 16th or 17th in the table.
“But it’s also the best way to win promotion and I’ve no doubt we’ve got the ability to win.
“I’ve seen what the horrible feeling of defeat at Wembley does to people over the last two years and it’s not something I want to go through now – this is one of the biggest games in English football, the League I play-off final, and I want to be remembering it with a win.”
Morrison’s recent form alongside skipper Clarke has been pivotal to the progress of Simon Grayson’s side – they were both highly influential in the play-off semi-final matches against MK Dons, which Town won 3-2 on aggregate after a 2-0 win at stadium:mk.
“Pete makes my job easy, he’s a fantastic player and brilliant to line up alongside,” explained the man who still has two years on his contract at newly-promoted Premiership club Reading.
“He is everything you would want in a centre-back because he’s a leader. I am learning from him in every game and it’s come together well for us in the final few matches of the season, so hopefully that will continue for one game more.
“Like most sides we did go through a dip in form, but I’m glad we have picked up some momentum for the play-offs and we deserved to beat MK Dons, who I thought were the toughest of opposition, and now we’ve got our chance to win promotion.”
So what can Morrison – the man who marks him in training – tell us of the prospects of Jordan Rhodes adding to his 40 club goals so far?
“If you give Jordan a chance he is near odds-on to score and he is definitely among he best strikers outside the Premiership – but he would be the first to say it’s not all about him, and he’s right,” he answered.
“I mark Jordan in training and if you give him even half a yard he’s got an effort on target, he’s making the keeper save or he’s scored, so you can never relax.
“He showed that in the semi-finals against MK Dons, but there is no need to overload him with pressure because Jordan takes it all in his stride anyway and, on top of that, we’ve also got Lee Novak up there with 17 goals to his name – and he’s one of the best strikers in League I in his own right.”
So will Morrison be back at the Galpharm next season?
“What happens will be up to the gaffer and chairman at Reading and the gaffer and chairman here and I’ve really no idea,” he said.
“All I can say is that if this is to be my last game for Town then I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here, the supporters have really taken to me and been fantastic and I just hope we can reward them with a win against Sheffield United and that place in the Championship. I’ve had a brilliant time here and a Wembley win really would cap it all off.”