David looking forward to festive fixtures
- David Wagner previews Preston
- Head Coach looking forward to first festive fixture
- Wagner discusses HTAFC injuries
David Wagner is looking forward to a new experience on Boxing Day – his first taste of festive football!
Town’s Head Coach will lead the Terriers against Preston North End at 3pm on Saturday at the John Smith’s Stadium in his first Christmas fixture. As a player and Manager in Germany, football takes a winter break during this period.
“This is something completely new and different. I have no Christmas feeling! I am only thinking about Preston and my squad; not what you normally think about near Christmas,” David told htafc.com.
“Even in Germany, people speak about Boxing Day games in England being something special, so I’m very excited to be a part of it. Hopefully we have a successful one on Saturday.
“I enjoy being here (at PPG Canalside) and working, so this is exciting for me.”
After some promising performances during his first six games in charge, David is now focused on the next step; achieving consistency.
“Consistency is one of the parts we have to work on. We must be more consistent during the game and over several games; bringing a performance level every game.
“We have made some steps in the right direction and we are on our way, as we have spoken about, but we need better results, of course. This is what we will try to do in the future, but all in all we are in a good way.
“I know that this squad will develop in the future. It is very good to work with them. Development never stops and we have a lot of things we need to work on. A few players have had bigger steps forward than the others until now, but this is natural.
“If you take the game from last Saturday, we have to work on our defence - after a clean sheet in the game before. Every game will always show things you must do better and things you did well and it can change every week.
“I’ve told the squad that it is not a problem to make a mistake in a game. For me, the most important thing is how they react to a bad situation. If my players react in a positive way, I have no problem. Mistakes are part of the game.
“We made mistakes in our defeat last week, so now I want to see a reaction on Saturday. We can only celebrate on Boxing Day if we win this game, so that’s our target.”
Ahead of the Roses derby, David gave an update on injuries within his squad:
“’Deano’ (Whitehead) won’t be with us during Christmas, but Jonathan Hogg and Emyr Huws will be back. They trained with us today without any problems and will be with us again tomorrow, so they will be back on Saturday. That gives us more alternatives.
“Ishmael (Miller) has some small problems with his back and hamstrings that are connected.
“(Mark) Hudson has had some light problems, but nothing special; he will train.
“Everybody else is healthy. Phil Billing has worked with us since last Friday without any problems and after those days, I can see he is a talent; a very interesting player. He brings something special to this position because of his size and technical quality, but he needs time to progress his fitness and learn what the rest of the squad has over the last six weeks.”
On Saturday’s opponents Preston, Wagner commented:
“I know it is a very well organised team; they’ve only conceded 18 goals until this moment.
“I know everything I need to, but it is the same every week; the biggest view for me is on my squad and making sure we bring our best level and identity onto the pitch on Saturday.
“For us, it is very important to be patient and bring all the good things we have done in the past onto the pitch.”
David also praised the Huddersfield Town faithful and admitted he is looking forward to their support at the weekend:
“Since I arrived, I can only say positive things about our support; home and away. I think they are sensible about our hard work and I recognise they are smart enough to separate results from performances. That works both ways; we had 20 bad minutes against Rotherham when we won, but equally they recognised we played well against Middlesbrough and lost.
“This is very important for me. Performances are very important, but we all turn up to work to get results. We’re trying to develop a winning mentality.
“I’m very excited about the support on Boxing Day. I have heard very good things about it from a distance and I’m very excited about Saturday.”
After Saturday, Wagner has another new experience to deal with; a 48 hour turnaround to the next Sky Bet Championship fixture at QPR on Monday!
“This is also something really new for me, as a player or a Head Coach! This is crazy from a Sports Science side, for the players’ health and mentality.
“We have to make sure everyone is healthy over this busy period, but for now I only want to think about Preston; not about the next one.”
Click HERE for ticket information on Town's Boxing Day fixture