Tom Huddlestone has set his sights on automatic promotion in the Sky Bet Championship with Derby County next season, reports the BBC.
The 30-year-old has recently rejoined Derby, 12 years after leaving the club that gave him his first opportunity as a professional.
Having suffered relegation from the Premier League with Hull City last season, Huddlestone opted to leave East Yorkshire and return to the Rams for around £2m last week.
The midfielder has now spoken of his desire to get back to the top-flight with Derby, insisting automatic promotion will be the aim next season, he said:
“We should definitely be looking at automatic promotion. But the play-offs are a bare minimum.”
Derby finished last season a disappointing ninth, but improved significantly following Gary Rowett’s arrival as manager in March, picking up 15 points from nine fixtures.
Rowett has also made significant changes to his playing squad, moving Cyrus Christie, Will Hughes and Tom Ince away from Pride Park, whilst welcome others in, including Huddlestone.
Curtis Davies and Andre Wisdom have been brought in from Hull and Liverpool respectively, adding to Rowett’s options in defence.
Recent reports this morning have also linked Derby with a move for Arsenal’s Jon Toral, who previously played for Rowett at Birmingham City.
Derby fans… What do you make of Huddlestone’s comments? Is automatic promotion a realistic target? Where do you think your club will finish next season? Let us know your thoughts!