Record signing Christopher Schindler made a solid promise to the Huddersfield Town fans: “I will fight and fight for the team.”
The 26-year-old £1.8m signing from 1860 Munich has been training with his new teammates at PPG Canalside and enjoying the fresh opportunity provided by the first transfer move of his career.
Skipper and key central defender in Bavaria, Schindler is keen to learn as quickly as possible about playing Championship football in England and has no fears about doing that in a new-look line-up under David Wagner.
“It’s a tough, physical game here and faster, so it’s going to take some time to adapt to the speed and roughness, but that’s all part of my development and I’m really looking forward to growing up, in a way, in the Championship,” said the former Germany Under 21 international.
“I think the reason I was quite popular in Munich and stayed so long at the club was because I could identify with the fans and what they are about.
“They are hard-working fans in Munich and they are hard-working fans in Huddersfield and that’s my type of football – hard-working.
“My attitude is to fight and fight for your team and to never give up.
“It is not so important to me who is scoring the goals, whether it’s Nahki Wells the top scorer or Michael Hefele or the captain, it doesn’t matter to me.
“We will win games together and my job is to play my full part in keeping the team together.”
Schindler has played alongside the likes of former Tottenham and now Hamburger SV player Lewis Holtby at international level, in addition to current Germany first-team squad members Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Bernd Leno (both goalkeepers) and Sebastian Rudy, who has 11 full caps for the national side.
He believes joining Town, however, has come at exactly the right time for him and his family – wife Paulina and baby daughter Marie – and he’s ready to take on the responsibility that entails.
“It’s not easy to talk about my own performances because that’s the coach’s job, but I think I’m quite a good defender because there’s not much that I can’t do at all.
“In my eyes I’ve got a good header and I’m good in one-on-one situations, and I see it as my job to take responsibility for that.
“My big challenge to start with is to adapt and to become included into the team as quickly as possible, but my main objective is to help the team improve – that’s the top priority.
“The challenge for me is to try and get stability in the defence.
“David Wagner told me that we have scored a lot of goals and the attacking part of our game is good, but that we have had problems with the defensive line, and we need stability to win games.
“In Germany we say the defensive line wins you games. The offensive line scores you goals, but the defensive line wins you games, and it’s the same here.
“The challenge is to make sure you make the most of your offensive play but then don’t get a score against you, and my job is to not let the opposition score.”
Schindler is likely to slot in alongside fellow countrymen Hefele and Chris Lowe and added: “If we get a routine we can find some stability, whoever are the starters, because there are so many matches.
“It doesn’t matter who plays, we have to be stable and strong and, from that point, we can make the next steps.”