David looks ahead to this weekend’s game
- David Wagner previews Nottingham Forest game
- Head Coach backs HTAFC's playing ideals
- Wagner gives an injury update on Sean Scannell, Elvis Manu & Karim Matmour
Town’s recent run of four Sky Bet Championship games without a win is not a fair reflection of the performance levels – but Head Coach David Wagner says ‘something has been missing’.
“We’ve not won in five games and we’ve lost the last four! We are able to split the performance from the result, but at the end we all know we miss something,” David admitted to htafc.com.
“We have our weapons in offence and we have to make sure these weapons count. We have to make sure there’s the same responsibility to get a clean sheet like we all have when we score goals; this balance we have to find. It’s a very interesting period.
“It’s important to know what you have to do; that you have a plan. If you have a plan and know what you have to do, you don’t feel pressure. We’ll only be focused on our idea.
“We play against a good opponent (this weekend) - they’re unbeaten in 13 games - and the target is really clear. We have to show our idea and our identity as best we can. On the other side, we know exactly that we don’t miss much in the last games.”
Despite the run without a win, there is no question of Wagner changing Town’s playing style:
“For us, it’s totally clear that we stand behind our philosophy and identity. What we’re doing is a long term project; a long term idea. Everybody, me included, has the feeling that we’re on the way.
“For a long term idea, what you need is time. There will be some up and downs. We had some ups at Christmas and the New Year period; at the moment, when you look at the results, we have downs.
“I’m really sure every single player can profit from this experience in the future. We’re playing so well and not getting results, which makes our hunger and greed bigger from day to day”.
On Saturday’s hosts at the City Ground, Nottingham Forest, David explained:
“Preston plays in a similar style to Nottingham Forest; maybe Nottingham has more individual quality in offence. Against Preston we had a lot of ball possession and did a lot of good things, creating good moments. For us it’s important that we not only have the ball, but that we make something good with it.
“Maybe we will have the ball more than Nottingham, but hopefully we will be more clinical than against Preston. On the other side, we have to make sure we’re well organised against their counter; don’t give them the spaces and have a good position in our last line, including the goalkeeper.
“It’s good to score the first goal - and hopefully the winning goal as well.”
The Head Coach finished by giving an update on the fitness of several Town players:
“Sean Scannell will come back on the grass with the fitness coach at the end of this week or the beginning of next week. Our target for his availability is the international break at the end of March and I think this is realistic, but we always hope to bring the player a back a little earlier. I think the upcoming two weeks will give us a better chance to look at this situation.
“We have a couple of new problems. Elvis (Manu) has been ill since Saturday until yesterday. Today and this morning he had light training in the gym and he was with us in the afternoon, so we will see how he looks tomorrow (Friday) when we have our more intensive training.
“Karim Matmour got a hit on Saturday and is out of training as well, but he starts jogging today and maybe he’s able to train with us tomorrow. There is a question mark on him as well.
“Jamie Paterson cannot play against his home club. Everybody else is healthy.”
One player who is available again is Mark Hudson, who has recently served a two match ban.
David concluded: “For us, he is very important. He is a man who very often makes the right decision in his defensive work. He is one of the players who is able to keep cool in heated situations; for example, if it’s 1-0 in the 80th-minute away, then it’s good if you have him on the field. I’m very happy he’s back. He’s very important for our group.
"I think Crains (Martin Cranie) and Lynchy (Joel Lynch) did okay against Cardiff and well against Preston. Both of them have showed in the past that they’re very important, key players for us. I think all three of them play very good games at centre back. We can always choose the one that are fit, not suspended and in good form.”
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