David grateful of week's training before Saturday's game
- David Wagner previews Cardiff City game
- Head Coach happy to have week of training at HTAFC
- Wagner comments on January transfer window
After a busy few weeks of games to start 2016, David has been glad to have his team back at PPG Canalside for the full week ahead of Saturday’s game at home to Cardiff City.
“I think for us it was a very important week after five games in 15 days. During the defeat against Brighton we saw in the last 15 minutes we were not fresh enough to change this game in our direction," David told htafc.com.
“It was very important to use this full week to prepare us for this game against Cardiff."
The Bluebirds will arrive at the John Smith’s Stadium five points outside the Play-Off places and Wagner is looking forward to seeing his side compete against them.
“For us, every game is a barometer; we always have to show that we are able to make the next step.
“Of course I know Cardiff are nine points above us; hopefully after the game it’s only six. That’s our target but we know we have to invest a lot on Saturday.
“If the key moments go in our direction, I’m sure we are able to be uncomfortable for them. This is our first target; that they don’t enjoy the game against us."
The Head Coach will be without the services of the suspended Mark Hudson and Tommy Smith – but Wagner is not worried.
“This isn’t a big problem for us. I think we have very good possibilities in these positions; we are strong enough in this position, like we are strong enough in the whole squad, to show our best performance.
“Kyle Dempsey did very well when he played the right-back position, so he will be our first choice in this position.
“’Crains’ (Martin Cranie) has played a lot of games as well in the centre-back position in the past so there’s nothing new; nothing special.
“I think if everyone goes well in the next two days - the training today and tomorrow - William Boyle will be with us on the bench."
On the plus side, David believes a full week of training will have done the world of good for Dean Whitehead’s recovery from long-term injury, as well as for latest signing Karim Matmour.
“It was Dean’s first training week since his injury, as a rehabilitation week isn’t to be compared to team training. Last week when he came back, we didn’t have team training because we were recovering and playing games. We will make the decision on Saturday if he will start or if we will give him another week [of] team training.
“It’s been a big week for Karim, getting to know the system and getting to know everyone. I think he feels confident in the system because he knows this type of game from the past, but he has to know how a player will react in a situation; whether they will run forward or ask for the ball, is he fast, can he play in tight spaces or not. I think this week it’s been very important he’s been training together with the other players.
“And for his fitness as well, he didn’t play competition games in the past. For him, this week and next week are very important.”
Wagner gave an update on the fitness of Sean Scannell, who saw a specialist about his knee injury on Monday.
“On one side, we are happy as he doesn’t need a knee operation. However, his rehabilitation takes another four weeks. If everything goes well he will available before the international break at the end of March.
“Everybody else is fit. Joe Lolley is a little bit ill but it shouldn’t be a big problem. I expect that he is able to train with us tomorrow."
David was happy to clarify the Club’s stance on the January transfer window, which closes at 11pm on Monday.
“We have a big budget from our Chairman for this window and the summer, but I only like to spend this money like it’s my own money! I only like to spend my own money for something that I’m 100 percent convinced it helps.
“In this transfer window I only like signings that help us for the long term; not only for two or three months. That makes no sense in my opinion.
“We have the loan window if we have big problems, but I don’t expect to.
“Everybody has to be patient, realistic and clever in the right moment as well. Maybe this sounds boring, but if we work on a very good base then we are able to build a big house."
Tickets for Saturday's game are on sale now - click HERE for full info!