Christopher Schindler: We are playing for our futures
Christopher Schindler remains crestfallen by Huddersfield’s relegation from the Premier League and believes everyone is playing for their future between now and the end of the season.
Huddersfield’s demotion to the Sky Bet Championship after two campaigns in the top-flight was confirmed following a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last weekend, leaving them 19 points adrift of safety with only six games left.
Schindler was still visibly downcast about the club’s fate but is determined to help them avoid a rock-bottom finish, with Fulham, who were also relegated this week, firmly in his sights.
And he has attempted to rally his team-mates ahead of this weekend’s visit of Leicester – whether they want to remain at the John Smith’s Stadium beyond the end of the campaign or not.
When asked whether he would speak to anyone who is not giving their all, the Huddersfield captain responded: “There is no chance that this is going to happen because it’s about everyone’s future.
“It’s about the club and if it’s not about the club, it’s about players who want to leave, they need to perform. Players who want to stay, they need to convince the manager that the club has a plan for them for the next season.
“Take it as if we are playing for everything, this is the mindset we have to have.
“Not giving one yard less because (of relegation) but seeing it as a situation where we can prepare for next season against some of the best players in the world and some of the best teams in the Premier League.
“We have our pride as well, we want to catch Fulham because we are better. I am convinced.
“We don’t want to be where we are now. It’s hard to accept and talk about. It’s something you don’t want to have as a player and something you don’t want to have on your CV.”
The 28-year-old centre-back lifted the lid on the troubles of the past 15 months: since the start of 2018, Huddersfield have only won in the league six times.
However, this season alone, they have lost by the odd goal in 12 of their 32 fixtures – a statistic which makes relegation even more unpalatable for Schindler.
He said: “When you are in this period which is lasting almost one-and-a-half years, it’s so difficult to every week get back on track, every week try to be as fresh, especially in your head, as you possibly can, to go into another game when you don’t win so many games.
“It’s difficult to lift everyone because after a couple of weeks and months, you say the same thing every time again and no one’s believing in it.
“We were always close. The majority of the games we were competitive, it was not that we got battered week in, week out. This makes it even more frustrating, I think.
“If you are competitive over the majority of the games, it’s hard to have only 14 points.”
Schindler’s fellow defender Terence Kongolo is doubtful to face Leicester because of a knee injury suffered in training.
Danish midfielder Philip Billing is also struggling with a back complaint though forwards Laurent Depoitre and Isaac Mbenza are pushing for returns after recent foot and calf problems respectively.
Whoever takes to the field on Saturday afternoon, Schindler added: “We all play still to win games in the Premier League.
“Being able to play in the Premier League is the biggest privilege you can possibly have as a football player.
“That’s why this should be our motivation and we always play to win. The situation that we are relegated doesn’t change that fact.”