David excited for his debut in the competition
- David Wagner previews Reading FA Cup game
- Head Coach wants HTAFC to be a surprise package
- Wagner says he will not experiment with line-up
Huddersfield Town Head Coach David Wagner is looking forward to his first involvement in the Emirates FA Cup when Reading visits the John Smith’s Stadium for Saturday’s 3pm kick-off.
The German believes his players will be able to show their best side in the ‘winner takes all’ format of the competition, as he told htafc.com.
“For me, it is as important as the Championship; there is no difference for me. It is a different competition, but in the end the target is the same – we’d like to win this game. We’d like to be in the next round.
“This is a good opportunity for us to perform on the pitch without the pressure of the (Championship) table. Our only target is to be in the next round.
“I like Cup games, because they are ‘win or die’ and that makes them something special. I expect us to play our game again, as we have in the past.
“In Germany, the Cup is as important as the FA Cup is in England. The final is a day of celebration, always held in Berlin like the FA Cup is always at Wembley. I was there in the last two years with the First Team of Dortmund and it was something special.
“I watched the English FA Cup Final and semi-finals as well, especially when Arsenal was very successful.
“The Cup is the easiest way to be successful and to get people speaking about you, because with only two or three victories you can get a big opponent. This is what we’ll try to do – get people speaking about us. To do this, we must first beat Reading.
“It happens very often in Germany that lower teams get a run in the Cup, getting to the quarter finals, semi-finals or sometimes even the final. I think this happens in England too, so why can’t we be one of the surprise teams this season?”
On Saturday’s opponents, Wagner said:
“We only have to focus on Reading; we cannot look too far into the future. This is hard enough, as it is a very good opponent with a manager who promoted the Club to the Premier League a few years’ ago.
“We have thought about the areas where we can beat them and give them some problems to which they won’t find a solution.
“With no pressure from the table, I expect my squad to play fresh football and play with speed right from the beginning.
“Everybody knows we’ve done well in the past and this wasn’t a fluke; it was because of hard work. This is what we will do on Saturday again; bring on the pitch our quality with hard work. Hopefully the key moments will go in our direction and we will be able to beat them.
“At this moment, I feel like my players can see what you get for hard work and are hungry for more. We must try to keep this going and make some little changes.”
Managers and Head Coaches often use cup competitions to try different things with their line-up, but Wagner indicated this would not be the case with him.
“We will not make any experiments in this game. We’d like to win and be in the next round so we will try to bring a starting XI on the pitch that, with the help of the bench, can win this game.
“In the moment everybody is fit and in form, so the normal rotation works. We saw how important the bench was again in our last game against Bolton and I’m sure the starting XI that began at Bolton will not begin on Saturday.
“Fingers crossed everybody, excluding Dean Whitehead, is available for Saturday. We have training again today (Friday), so hopefully everyone will be available and we’ll make the right decision on Saturday.”
Watch Wagner's side in action on Saturday for just £10 in cash at the turnstiles!