Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner and club captain Tommy Smith were both on duty for the pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Premier League table-toppers Manchester City today. The Town boss was hopeful of his side’s chances when speaking in the press conference on Friday afternoon but was all too aware of the monumental challenge facing The Terriers this weekend. When asked whether Huddersfield could complete a “Manchester double” (after the victory against United earlier in the season) Wagner initially chuckled but wasn’t laughing off the possibility of three points.
“I think the circumstance looks not that realistic, but everybody knows that in football sometimes the impossible happens. Everybody knows that Man City is the best team in the Premier League at the minute and this means probably one of the best teams in Europe.”
“I think they’re [City] playing fantastic football and have a very, very good manager with Pep [Guardiola]. Even if we have some experience with them from last season, we know exactly what is in front of us.”
“The good thing is that everybody is aware how exciting this is for us, this is exactly why we were so happy when we celebrated being promoted. It feels more like the Champions League for us, rather than the Premier League.”
“We have to step over our borderlines to create something very special if we are to have a chance. We will search for a chance, we always have a chance even if it only looks like a small one.”
Wagner was also full of admiration for Manchester City’s form this season, if not a tad fearful. When reminded of The Citizens’ 17-game unbeaten run, the German humorously responded by demanding the journalists “Stop talking about this, it scares me!”
Despite this, though, Wagner remained coy on what Manchester City’s weaknesses are:
“We know everything we have to know, there will be no surprises.”
With Huddersfield facing Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton all within a week of each other, I asked Tommy Smith about what line-ups we could expect to see in this run of games:
“You spoke earlier about squad rotation, with 3 games in 7 days, including matches against two of the so called top 6 in England, has David indicated that more of the players will get minutes on the pitch in this period of the season?”
“It’s something that the manager has been big on since he joined. You want the players to be at 100% because that’s the way we play, full throttle football. If you’re not 100% then he [Wagner] is more than happy to rotate so it’s something the lads are used to.”
The Terriers’ skipper also shared his manager’s optimism about Town’s chances:
“We’ll always be confident, no team is unbeatable, it’s why I love the English game.”
Huddersfield vs Manchester City kicks off at 4pm today at the John Smith’s Stadium.