WITH A return of six points from his first half dozen games at the helm of Huddersfield Town, David Wagner’s record is nothing to shout about.
Stretched over an entire season, for instance, it would more than likely leave the Terriers in perilous danger near the foot of the Championship.
Despite that, Wagner insists that things are progressing well and that giant strides have been taken in his quest to change the culture at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“Consistency is one of the things we have to work on,” said the Huddersfield chief. “We have taken some steps in the right direction.
“We took the first step quickly and I also think we have taken the second step. Now, we are on to the third step.
“Development never stops so we always have things to work on. From last Saturday, we must work on our defence.
“In the game before that, we had a clean sheet.
“The squad will develop further in the future. But we do need better results.”
Town’s six points under Wagner came via wins over Birmingham City and Rotherham United. In a couple of the losses against Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough, there were many plus points to take from a Terriers perspective.
The same, however, cannot be said about either the home defeat to struggling Bristol City or last week’s 4-2 reverse at Brentford, when Town were well below par.
A Preston North End still smarting from a harsh 1-0 loss at Leeds United last Sunday will be tough opponents today, not least because the game marks Simon Grayson’s first return to Huddersfield since being sacked in 2013.
Wagner added: “I know Preston are very able, often playing 3-5-2. It is a team that is very well organised. They have only conceded 18 goals and only scored 17.
“So, it is very important we are patient. We must start strongly. It is always one of our targets, to be ready from the first seconds. In the past, we have done it sometimes, but not always. We had problems against Brentford and Bristol.
“In the other four, we were ready from the very start. We have to keep the game open or go in front.”
Town are expecting a bumper crowd of around 15,000 with Preston set to bring around a fifth of that number.
Wagner added: “I hear that the support is great at this time of year. But we need to win if it is to be a good Boxing Day.”