HEAD COACH David Wagner has revealed Huddersfield Town plan to make at least one more signing in the current transfer window, but refused to discuss a possible bid to bring back Danny Ward.
The Terriers are in their most promising position for 17 years with a tilt at reaching the Premier League very much alive.
A big test of those credentials will come tomorrow at promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday, a trip Wagner insists his players are fully focused on amid strong speculation that Town have made a £1m bid for Rotherham United’s Ward.
Asked about the former Huddersfield man, the German initially made light of the link. “Do we have a new chairman with more money than Dean (Hoyle)?” he laughed. “And to bid £1m for Danny Ward?”
Pressed further, however, on his recruitment plans, Wagner confirmed Town are in the market for at least one more signing after bringing Izzy Brown in on loan from Chelsea last week.
“Okay, I will make it easy for you,” he added. “I will not be making any comments on individual players or any positions.
“But what I can say is we are in the market for at least one more player we want to bring in before the end of the window. But, if this will happen, no one knows.”
Wagner was one of the busier managers in the Championship last summer as 12 new faces arrived amid a major overhaul of the squad he had inherited the previous November.
In doing so, Wagner did a very good job of balancing the books at a club where losses of £4m-£5m per year have been made in recent seasons.
To do that and steer Huddersfield into their most promising position since the early weeks of 2000 – when then manager Steve Bruce’s side led the second tier heading into the new year – is testament to his eye for a player.
What he also made clear yesterday was the loyalty and belief he has in the Town squad.
“There are two things that are important,” replied Wagner when asked for the reasons behind bringing in possibly just one more new face at a time when Huddersfield’s rivals are planning several signings.
“First of all, we are still Huddersfield Town. We will not spend millions and millions on new players. I am totally happy with the options we have in our club.
“Second, this group deserve, through what they have shown over the first 25 games, to be still involved in a big part of what we want to do.
“I also don’t like to work with a big squad. In my opinion, if you are able to give every player a feeling he is part of the group then that is good. Every player must feel he is a potential starter.
“All my players are like that. Some have more minutes than others, but they can all start. That allows you to use the rotation system.
“I prefer a tight group, everyone an important player in the dressing room, rather than a big group with too many players who are unhappy and the feeling of not being part of things. I want high competition and we have that.”
Wagner’s sentiment about the value of being a tight unit is echoed by Christopher Schindler, the defender who last summer became Town’s record signing in a £1.8m deal from TSV 1860 Munich.
“I like it that we have a smaller squad,” said the German. “For the players not starting, if you have to be better than five players then that is not good. That makes it hard for morale. This is a good mixture.
“Of course, we don’t want too many injured players. That is always the danger when the squad is not too big.
“We have been fortunate up to now and, hopefully, it will stay like that and we use every player in the squad.
“We feel fit and everyone feels really, really good. The squad has so many players of similar quality and that allows us to rotate. Everyone is able to start games and that means we can rotate, but still win games.”
Rajiv van La Parra (knee), Jonathan Hogg (thigh) and Sean Scannell (ankle) will miss tomorrow’s trip to Hillsborough, while Kasey Palmer is a doubt with a hamstring strain.
Martin Cranie is available after missing training following the birth of his daughter.
“I can see this squad maintaining exactly the same levels as they did in the first 25 games,” said Wagner, whose first game as Town manager was a 3-1 loss at Wednesday.
“I only hope for improvement and development. If this will be enough for results, no one knows. This is football. But every point we have right now, we deserve. We know what we have to do to be uncomfortable to play against.”
Town’s lofty standing in the Championship has been reflected in two more fixtures being selected for live broadcast by Sky.
Newcastle United’s visit on March 4 will kick-off at 5.30pm, while the trip to Bristol City has been pulled forward to Friday, March 17.
The Terriers’ home clashes with Brighton and Leeds are also being shown live next month.