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WAGNER: I LIKE THIS CHALLENGE!

11 March 2016

David looking forward to hosting league leaders Burnley

- David Wagner previews Burnley game
- Head Coach updates on injuries
- Wagner issues rallying call to Town fans

Huddersfield Town Head Coach David Wagner is looking forward to the challenge of hosting Sky Bet Championship leaders Burnley at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

The Head Coach has been handed a boost ahead of the game by the return to training of Karim Matmour, Joe Murphy, Emyr Huws and Joel Lynch from injury, whilst midfielder Philip Billing is also available after suspension.

“It looks nearly perfect,” Wagner said of his squad on Friday. “I expect that we will have everyone available, excluding Jonathan Hogg. Everyone else is available, although probably not in the best rhythm as they have not had match time in the last few weeks. They have all trained since Wednesday and are healthy and fit. 

“Picking the players is part of my job and I like to need to think about what will be the best decision in a few positions. 

“Tomorrow, it would be a surprise if the starting XI is the one that was on the pitch on Tuesday. That is only because of fresh legs. On Tuesday we gave the starting XI from the previous game another opportunity from the beginning and they did well, but as everybody knows I like to bring fresh players on the grass in a week where we have three games. I will make the final decisions after training on Friday.” 

Wagner commented on the return of Danish teenager Billing, who has missed the last three games after receiving the first red card of his career at MK Dons.

“It has been frustrating for him and for us too, but he left the decision behind very quickly and has worked like a professional. He has worked hard and has looked good in the last few days. He is one of the options for tomorrow. 

“In my opinion, he could sometimes be a little bit more aggressive. I’ve spoken with him about learning from Jonathan Hogg and Dean Whitehead, as they have the ‘Terrier attitude’.” 

David also agreed that Sean Scannell, fresh from his return from injury as a substitute on Tuesday evening, is pushing for a start.

“He is another one of the potentials to start tomorrow, but again we have to see training. We cannot forget he was out for 11 games, but he impressed when he came on this Tuesday; getting an assist and working hard for half an hour. He will not be ready for a full game, but I think he will be ready for more than 30 minutes.” 

The Club completed the signing of Rajiv van La Parra from Wolves on Friday, but the Head Coach confirmed that he will not be in the squad to face the Clarets:

“He will not be involved tomorrow, but he will train with us this week and next and we’ll see how fast he can adapt. 

“If he is able to develop as I expect, I think we will have a lot of fun with him!”

On Saturday’s high-flying visitors, David commented:

“It will be a totally different game from Tuesday, of course, but our target is the same as in every game; to get all three points. 

“I don’t have to speak too much about Burnley, as everyone knows about them. It is totally clear who is the favourite and I don’t have a problem with that. We have to make sure we compete with Burnley.

“They cannot enjoy the game; they must feel uncomfortable on the pitch. If we can do this, we will be in a good way. As always, we must also bring our identity to the pitch. If we do this, we have shown very often that we are not so bad! 

“I like this challenge. For me, we can play them every weekend. In the past we haven’t been as successful as we can be against the top six of the table, but you can only learn by playing against them. We like to develop and we need the results in these games to make the next step. Tomorrow we have another chance, this time at home.” 

In order to pull off the upset against the first placed side, David believes Town fans will have a key role:

“Our home supporters have never played a bigger role than they will tomorrow, as on Saturday they can win the game. If we are able to bring a good atmosphere, it will help us to record a surprising result. The supporters have to help us make the next step. I invite every supporter to bring a friend with them tomorrow.

“Everyone knows I am very happy with our supporters, as they are patient; that is very special. It isn’t so often you get supporters with such good football intelligence. They know what we’re doing on the pitch and can see the lads are giving everything, which lets them split the result from the performance.”

Come and pay at the turnstiles tomorrow - click HERE for prices!


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