Performances and belief mean we can get the points we need
Tom Ince believes the next four matches will go a long way towards shaping Huddersfield Town’s prospects of playing Premier League football next season.
The 26-year-old midfielder feels Town are in good heart despite the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and can be positive in the build-up to Saturday’s home clash with Swansea City – which he describes as “massive”.
Crystal Palace then visit the John Smith’s Stadium – Roy Hodgson’s side follow their 3-2 home defeat by Manchester United with a Saturday teatime trip to Chelsea – before Town visit Newcastle and Brighton.
That run of matches comes before another home assignment for David Wagner’s men against Watford before the crunch final four games, and Ince – a £7.5m arrival from Derby County last summer – is convinced Town can put the necessary points on the board.
“The Tottenham match was perhaps more of a ‘free game’ after we had that fantastic result at West Brom the previous week, but now the next four games will define our season,” said Ince, who will be hoping to make his 33rd appearance (in all competitions) for Town against Swansea.
“But I think with the way we are playing, the way we are sticking together and the belief we have in the dressing room – whatever the results from elsewhere – we can control what we do.
“I think there were a lot of positives from our second-half performance against Tottenham which we can take forward.
“I think we showed a lot of fight in addition to a lot of composure and calmness when we had the ball, and we managed to get further up the pitch and cause them problems.
“We have to accept the defeat against a quality, but now it’s about settling down and getting focused for Saturday (against Swansea City) which is a massive game.”
Ince went as close as anyone to scoring at Wembley, his stinging breakaway shot from just outside the area on 54 minutes bringing a fine save from French international keeper Hugo Lloris.
Had his effort gone in, it would have been 1-1, but, of course, within a minute Spurs scored their second through Heung-Min Son and the chance of points had gone.
“You are always disappointed with a defeat, especially the first half when we never really played and got forward at them,” explained Ince.
“We always knew it would be tough, even though we were going in off the back of some good results, because Tottenham were firing on all cylinders, but I think we gave a really good account of ourselves in the second half.
“As I’ve said, we can be positive about that, because we managed to catch them on the break a couple of times, created chances and got further forward.
“I think we also defended well, putting our bodies on the line, and you have to expect to defend against a top-four quality side who have spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds.”