David looks ahead to Saturday’s game
- David Wagner previews Brighton
- Head Coach gives update on HTAFC injuries
- David discusses Karim Matmour's possible involvement
Huddersfield Town Head Coach David Wagner says his players will be ready and prepared for Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship game at Brighton & Hove Albion.
“He will travel with us to Brighton for sure, but I think at the moment he will not be a candidate for the starting XI. However, nobody knows what will happen in the upcoming two days. We will see who is fresh and how many injuries we have.”
The Algerian international boasts plenty of experience having played in the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations, but the Head Coach was adamant that is not a key asset he looks for in players:
“For me, whether a player is experienced or young is not the most important thing. The most important target when signing a new player is if he is able to help us and if he is good enough.
“Karim will develop in our system and I’m very happy that he’s here.”
Another player who could feature is Dean Whitehead, who made his return after nine games out during the midweek Emirates FA Cup game at Reading.
David continued: “We are working on his fitness. Like Karim, he needs a few days and weeks as he was out for a long time. Everybody knows that this can take some time.
“Deano is a very professional, experienced player and he is often able to find solutions with his eyes – not his legs! This is important for us.”
The jury is still out on Harry Bunn’s availability; the Championship-leading assist maker missed the match in Berkshire with an ankle problem.
“Hopefully he is OK, but I cannot say 100%. Our medical staff is working with him and he will have a test in the morning. If that is positive, he will train and travel with us,” David explained.
However, Wagner confirmed that Sean Scannell is definitely ruled out of this weekend’s game.
“’Scanz’ is one of the biggest question marks I have, because at the moment we are not 100% sure how bad his knee injury is. It could be that he needs a small operation during the next week to take a look in his knee to find out what has really happened. It is not as good as we’d hoped after two weeks. We will make this decision over the weekend.”
Town’s league form going into the weekend is good, but David says that will play no part in the outcome of the game against the Seagulls:
“For this game, our recent record will give us no help. What we have done in the past does not help us on Saturday.
“Where we are in the table at the moment is not interesting to me. What is interesting is making every single player better step by step and developing our game plan. We want to win each game too and that will bring a better position in the table.
“We recognise that there is a good atmosphere around the Club, but for me the more important thing is the atmosphere in the dressing room. I feel that the lads are confident because they know they can correct any mistake they make. In the past, we have always shown the right reaction.
“In the end though, atmosphere doesn’t win a game on a Saturday. We must make sure we have full focus and concentration on what we will do in this game. We must bring our performance again.”
As ever, David says he will focus on his own side rather than the opposition:
“As in the past, we don’t have to focus on our opponent; only ourselves. We have all the information we need about Brighton.
“The most important information is who will be available for Saturday and how to bring our game-plan onto the pitch as well as we can.
“Another question will be over how fresh we are. Brighton had no game during the week, whilst we had a hard one with one man less for 60 minutes. These are the questions I have to find answers for.
“I have a good feeling about this, because we have developed it. I am sure we will show on Saturday that we have no problem playing five games in 15 days.
“Our target is to go into this game, use all our weapons and win.”
The game in Sussex caps off a long week of travelling for Wagner’s men, but says his side will be as fresh as it can possibly be for the game – and that the hard work on the fitness side should pay off.
“We have found perfect solutions, as the Club has given us everything we asked for. We were very well prepared for the Reading game and we will be for Brighton.
“We will train tomorrow (Friday) near the time of the game, 3pm, and then we will fly to Brighton. We will arrive early enough for our normal dinner time of 7 o’clock. After the game, we will travel back on the bus.”
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