Finishing the 2018-19 season with a miserable 16 points from 38 games, Huddersfield unceremoniously crashed back down into the Championship with the third worst tally in Premier League history.
Jan Siewert’s appointment didn’t help much, and a number of players have already left the club as the Terriers look to rebuild for next season.
One of those who could still go is Steve Mounié, although the Benin international, currently with his national team at the Africa Cup of Nations, isn’t thinking about his future right now.
Speaking to France Football, the striker explained he was solely focused on the current task at hand, which is to take his home country as far as possible in the competition.
The 24-year-old also agreed to discuss last season, giving his thoughts as to why Huddersfield endured a truly difficult second campaign in England’s top tier.
He said: “There are number of elements that led to relegation. The first year we had this momentum, this euphoria and energy, and that was the case for most players. We managed to stay up with our hearts. That’s hard to reproduce in the second season.
“Normally, we’re then meant to bring in players with experience, who know the league, to complete the group. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The recruitment wasn’t good enough in that the signings had no Premier League experience. They were players discovering the league, and we didn’t have time for that.”
Mounié goes onto explain that morale was quickly affected after a poor start, and “if the vast majority of players don’t have the state of mind I had, for example, when I was at Nimes and we stayed up despite starting with an eight point penalty, it’s complicated.”
Bluntly stating the club is now ‘where it should be’, the forward described the struggles as a ‘real collective problem, a collective disaster’.
Despite all the negatives, Mounié does feel he improved as a player last season, especially on a technical level, needing to find new ways to create and score goals.
He continued: “You know, I’m a real poacher, I love crosses, but because I wasn’t always getting them, there was a need to find solutions to get something. I managed to create chances by myself, but I can’t perform miracles. These are things that helped me for the national team too.”
With last season behind him, Mounié can only look towards the future, but he doesn’t know what that’s made of.
He said: “For now, I’m getting ready and focusing on the AFCON. We’ll see at the end. I’m not really thinking about it.”