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Club News


19 July 2016

Sell out will help prepare players

- David Wagner spoke ahead of Liverpool FC friendly
- Hudson could return against Liverpool; Wells, Paurevic, Palmer miss out
- Sell-out for Shankly Trophy will benefit players

Head Coach David Wagner believes Town’s Shankly Trophy match against Liverpool FC will play a vital part in pre-season preparations.

Tomorrow night’s match is a sell out at the John Smith’s Stadium and David believes this will help the players prepare for the opening day of the season against Brentford.

“We have to make sure it’s a good game, it’s an important match but only one step in our pre-season.

“This is why we are training twice today and again tomorrow morning, so everybody will be able to perform in front of our home supporters.

“It’s important to feel the crowd, this is good pre-preparation and what pre-season is for.

“It’ll help when we have Brentford at home in two and a half weeks, we will hopefully have a good crowd as well so it’s good to be prepared for this, then tomorrow the atmosphere will help.”

Wagner revealed that Mark Hudson is expected to play in the Shankly Trophy match; but Nahki Wells, Ivan Paurevic and Kasey Palmer will all miss out.

“Mark Hudson is back in training, he will get some minutes tomorrow if everything goes right. In the morning session, everything was alright.

“Nahki is back on the grass but I don’t want to take a risk for tomorrow, Ivan Paurevic will be out because of his illness again and Kasey Palmer will miss the game tomorrow, his muscle problems will take a few days longer but they will all go to Austria.

“Everyone who is fit and available tomorrow will get minutes. We are still in the pre-season; we have to make sure everyone gets their minutes.”

It’s been highly documented that David Wagner and Liverpool FC Manager Jurgen Klopp are great friends and have a good relationship.

In his press conference Town’s Head Coach explained how it all started.

“It was a pre-season in 1991 when I first met him, when I switched to Mainz. He had been there for one more season so this was the first time we had contact in the dressing room. It was 25 years ago. He’s a good guy, I like him, and he’s my friend.

“I was his best man at his wedding, we are brothers in the mind. We have the same humour; we can laugh about the same jokes, so we are able to enjoy life.

“Everything you can say about a friendship, I can say about a friendship. I know its Jurgen Klopp, one of the best managers in the world, but for me he’s just my friend.”

Despite his friendship with Jurgen, the former Borussia Dortmund II manager will not let his friendship get ahead of the Shankly Trophy match.

“This is what I can split off. It’s a game against Liverpool FC, a big traditional English football club. This is exciting enough. Personal relationships are interesting before and after the game, where he will hopefully visit me in my Manager's Office afterwards, but during the game it’s a game against Liverpool FC in front of a great crowd and atmosphere.

“The result is not the highest pressure because it’s a test but a very serious test for us so we have to make sure it isn’t the nicest evening for Liverpool FC.”

This is Town’s final friendly before they travel to Austria for their training camp and will face Werder Bremen and Igolstadt; sides with a similar ability to Liverpool FC.

“We wanted to progress the quality of our opponents during pre-season, which is why we have two good sides against us in Austria as well.

“As I said in the games before everybody plays football games because they like to win but in pre-season the result is not so important.

“For me it’s important that we are able to see a next step in our performance and our identity and that everyone is healthy. It’s another step in pre-season and we’ve had this feeling in the last few weeks.”

However, the German manager has admitted he is looking forward to the game and believes his players deserve a big crowd for their efforts so far this summer.

“Tomorrow we host one of the best managers in the world, one of the greatest clubs in the world and our lads deserve a good crowd tomorrow because they’ve shown something in the last month.

“We have to make sure that we perform well. We will enjoy this game and be the best competitor for Liverpool FC that we can. At this stage and we are happy to have them here.

“We have to make sure that we take this game as an important part of our pre-season and I’m sure in this atmosphere my players will enjoy it and play as well as they can.”

The Shankly Trophy match is SOLD OUT; please do not travel to the Stadium unless you have a ticket.

Important notice for all ticket holders: We are expecting a large crowd so please arrive early. It is unreserved seating so please do not leave any unoccupied seats between you and the next person.

Don’t forget that you could win up to £6,000 in the half-time Golden Gamble draw, sponsored by Barden Print, so buy your tickets from the sellers who are situated in and around the Stadium. Also, match day programme, Give Us An H, will be available for only £3.

Why not visit PPG Canalside beforehand; bar and food service from 5pm and only a 15 minute walk to the game – the ideal place to meet!

2016/17 Season Cards are still available until 15,000 are sold; just £179 for adults!

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