Andy Booth insists Huddersfield Town’s promotion-winning heroes will be given every chance to shake things up in the Premier League.
Club legend Booth believes head coach David Wagner will bring in two or three key signings but otherwise show faith in the players who triumphed at Wembley.
And he feels that approach can pay dividends within a budget for chairman Dean Hoyle, especially if Town can put points on the board before the first international break in the opening trip to Crystal Palace and following home games against Newcastle United and managerless Southampton.
“If you’d asked me before the fixtures came out who I would have liked first, my heart would have said Manchester United or maybe Liverpool, because of the connection between David Wagner and Jurgen Klopp, but looking at it now we’ve been handed a great start,” said club ambassador Booth.
“Palace away and then the two home games – they will be difficult make no mistake – but they are also winnable games and if we can put points on the board early doors that’s going to be important.
“It doesn’t matter which part of the season you look at or who you are playing, this is the Premier League.
“We are now up against the top teams with some of the best players in the world so when you look at the Christmas period – when we’ve got two winnable home games against Stoke City and Burnley – you say they are winnable because those two are not part of the ‘Big Six’ that everyone talks about, but they are still established Premier League teams.
“If we can put those points on the board, though, it would be great to say we are safe by the final month of the season, and then we can enjoy the last matches against the likes of Chelsea, Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal here at the John Smith’s.”
Arsene Wenger’s Gunners wrap up the league campaign in Huddersfield on Sunday, May 13, and Booth says each of the 38 matches will have huge importance.
“It’s a brilliant finish for us, and that’s what the Premier League is about,” he explained.
“You never know, but we could easily have a say in who wins the Premier League title or who challenges for Champions League places because there are a lot of big matches towards the end of our season.
“It’s great for everyone to look forward to, and for what David Wagner has done over the last 18 months everyone deserves this chance.
“When he came in, straight away we knew something was different.
“He had a couple of weeks to work with the players and even though we lost that first match at Sheffield Wednesday, you could see there was a different formation and different thinking among the squad.
“You knew something was going to happen and now it has.
“I am sure David will bring in two or three players, but I’m also sure he’ll give the majority of the players who have worked under him the chance to perform in the Premier League, because they are the ones who have played some fantastic football to get us here.
“These are enjoyable times to watch Town. You know you are going to see a good game of football and you know you are going to see players putting in 100% every match – and that’s really all that Town fans want.
“With the way we play, the lads have to put in 100% and they’ve not let anyone down.”
So how will Hoyle approach the coming season and years now Town are guaranteed around a £185m windfall?
“The last nine or 10 years under Dean he has always done things in the right way and that won’t change,” said Booth, who had five years as a top-flight player with Sheffield Wednesday.
“He got us out of League One, established us in the Championship without trying to rush to win the title or anything like that and, in the last five years we’ve made progress.
“We probably didn’t expect to be in the Premier League right now – we are probably two years ahead of planning – but we will do things correctly.
“You see some clubs who have gone up and have thrown money after money after money at it and look where they are now. They are still feeling the effects seven or eight years down the line after being in the Premier League.
“Dean won’t do that.
“He’s got a model and a budget and David Wagner knows exactly what the club is about.”