Head Coach previews Stoke City clash
- David Wagner previews home game vs Stoke City
- Head Coach urges side to focus on its own performance
- Wagner welcomes Jonathan Hogg back from suspension
Huddersfield Town Head Coach David Wagner can’t wait to see his side take on Stoke City at the John Smith’s Stadium in the Premier League on Boxing Day.
Already relishing the usual festive fixture, David’s fervour has been furthered by his team’s last two showings on the road at Watford and Southampton.
“A Boxing Day game in the Premier League is already unbelievably exciting for this football club, but particularly on back of the performances that the players have shown. We altogether can’t wait for this game,” David told htafc.com.
“Now it’s my third year in England, so my family are used to a Boxing Day game! I still have to say that, from my point of view, Christmas is for family, but this isn’t the case if you are working in England in this business. In England it is all about football and this is something we must accept; it’s an English tradition.
“We were in to prepare and recover on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hopefully on Boxing Day, we will be ready and perform.”
After two games outside Yorkshire, Wagner is particularly excited by a return to home soil, where the Terriers have been fantastic in the first-half of the campaign.
“As always, we will try our best,” he continued. “The atmosphere will be terrific, for sure, because it has been for all the other home games in the Premier League so far. Now, On Boxing Day, on the back of these results and performances, it will be outstanding.
“Hopefully we can perform to our best; we will do everything to get further points on the board.”
The Potters will arrive in HD1 on the back of a 3-1 home victory over West Bromwich Albion and the Head Coach is aware of the threat that Mark Hughes’ side will pose. As always, however, he wants his players to focus on bringing the ‘Terriers Identity’ to the pitch.
“We are Huddersfield Town and every game is vital – and so exciting in the Premier League. There is no opponent that we rate higher; every single game is a top-flight game and we hadn’t been involved for 45 years, so everybody is our dressing room is excited.
“Stoke had a good win at the weekend and everybody is aware about their quality. They have finished ninth in the Premier League three times in a row and invested in the summer as well, so this is a top-quality side.
“They have played very direct in the past, especially when (Peter) Crouch was on the grass. We will see what they do. We will be ready and prepared.
“It’s not about the opponent, though. What we have tried to do so far is make ourselves independent from the circumstances like the opponent and whether we are home and away – and I think it’s worked. We want to be focused on us and our identity and this is what the players have done so far. We should continue this. We should not focus too much on the opponent.”
The former United States international believes he will have a couple of further options to select from in his squad; a welcome addition given the quick turnaround between games.
“I think we have no further injuries, apart from Jonas Lössl. I’m confident Jonas will be available for the match.
“Chris Löwe was on the bench at Southampton even though he had only trained for one days. The further three days (between the games) should help him.
“Jonathan Hogg will be back in the squad after his suspension, so we have some further alternatives. Now it’s all about recovery.”