Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner answered questions at his pre-match press conference ahead of The Terrier’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace. With the sides being in 15th and 18th position, this is a crucial relegation six pointer, something that wasn’t lost on the Town boss:
“It’s a big game, there’s no doubt about it. What gives us confidence is that in the big games, like the play-off semi-final, the final and against West Brom, the players perform. It’s very important that we are there, focussed on our work, our individual jobs, the togetherness. We now have a big, big chance to collect another three points against an opponent that has a lot of top-class individual quality.”
Huddersfield drew 0-0 in their previous match against Swansea, one in which the visitors were a man down for almost the entirety of the game. Given how the Terriers controlled the play of the game, it was disappointing not to win, however as usual, Wagner was focussing on the positives:
“There was one negativity after this game, and that was the result. We had enough opportunities to collect the points, there was a huge list of positives after that game. How we played, how we created chances, how the support was and we have collected seven points out of [games against] three teams around us.”
“You can be stupid and focus on the one negative, or you can focus on all the positives.”
Despite Wagner’s positivity, some questions were still asked about his side’s inability to score in the previous match. The Terrier’s manager didn’t take to kindly to this criticism:
“You know that we are Huddersfield Town, do you really have the expectation that we score every game? Do we have to be the team that creates 25 clear-cut chances and scores five goals? Please, Man City, this is the place you have to be!”
“The players have done such a fine job, I cannot ask any more of them.”
The transfer window may have shut at the end of January, but that hasn’t prevented first-choice goalkeeper, Jonas Lössl, from singing permanently from Mainz. The Dane has been on loan at the John Smith’s through this season and Wagner is delighted that he’s put pen to paper:
“We’re delighted to make this loan into a permanent deal. This was always something we had in our head when we brought him in on loan. He [Lössl] has really helped us to be where we are at the moment and hopefully he will help us in the future, to reach our target.”
Wagner also revealed that Terence Kongolo had returned to training, Phillip Billing will not feature in the match and nor will Danny Williams, who was injured during training.
Striker Steve Mounié also fielded questions from the press. The Beninese striker scored a brace on debut against Palace back on the opening day of the season, but wasn’t taking a repeat as a given:
“There’s no secret, every game is different. Crystal Palace are a team that are completely different from the first day of the season. So, for me, it is a completely different game and we’ll do our best to get the three points.”
Mounié also wasn’t giving away anything in terms of what the manager’s tactics will be at the kick-off:
“We play the game to win the game, we attack, we defend, we try to score. That’s football.”
Huddersfield Town kick-off against Crystal Palace at 3pm at The John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday 17th March.