Jan Siewert insists it is not all doom and gloom at Huddersfield as they bid to stave off the mathematical certainty of Premier League relegation.
Siewert, 36, the top flight’s youngest manager, has one eye on next season and pointed to the emergence of a trio of youngsters as good reason for optimism.
Defender Demeaco Duhaney, 20, and winger Aaron Rowe, 18, have both made their first-team debuts in recent weeks, while England Under-17 midfielder Matty Daly was on the bench for Town’s last two matches.
“There are already three in the squad and two already on the pitch, so there’s an interesting thing for me,” said Siewert, whose side head to West Ham this weekend in search of only their fourth win of the season.
“I think maybe there is a comparison to West Ham, who have also academy players now playing, really strongly I would say.
“We have to focus on that. We have to make our minds up about what is happening within the club, having a structure for the future and how this club could be, how we could perform and our playing style.
“So these are things I’m really excited about. Of course we still have eight more games, so I’m working on both things and this is important for me.”
A youth system beginning to bear fruit is a real boon for Town owner Dean Hoyle, who made the controversial decision 18 months ago to overhaul the club’s academy.
The Terriers dispensed with all age groups below the under-16s after repeated failures to produce first-team players and adopted a model similar to the one favoured by European clubs, which focuses on players aged 18 and over in an elite youth development squad.
It is a system former Borussia Dortmund reserve-team boss Siewert is familiar with and he has already forged a bond with Huddersfield’s younger players.
“(The relationship) is exactly what I had at Dortmund because we were very close and I think this helped us,” he said.
“During my time at Dortmund there were many players who played in my team who went up to the first team, so this is important for us to see.
“As you see from the lads I brought on to the pitch already, they have quality, so we have to focus on that and have a future plan with them.”
Huddersfield, rock bottom and 16 points from safety, have lost six of Siewert’s seven games in charge.
But the German hopes this losing run can help him become a better manager.
“I know that many managers have been in the same situation as I am at the moment and I think each one came out stronger,” he added.