HUDDERSFIELD TOWN head coach David Wagner has confirmed that he will only delve into the January transfer market if a deal “makes sense” and insists that he would be relaxed if no new signings came in.
Town consolidated fourth place in the Championship with a 2-1 Boxing Day win over Nottingham Forest on an excellent day for Yorkshire’s second-tier clubs – with all five taking three points.
Victories for Town, Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday mean that three White Rose sides will occupy a play-off berth at the start of 2017, while Barnsley are a further six points back after beating Blackburn Rovers.
To complete a remarkable day for the county’s Championship contingent, Rotherham United also triumphed against Wigan Athletic – one of four Lancastrian clubs who lost out in Roses fixtures to Yorkshire opponents in the EFL – to maintain their faint hopes of survival.
Town’s win enabled them to record a fourth successive victory at Championship level for the first time since promotion in 2012.
Town have been linked with new year transfer moves to bolster further their promotion drive, but Wagner has stressed that he will be selective and considered in any potential bids.
The German head coach said: “I think if we are fourth after we have played everybody, we have no rush. If something makes sense and if something really will help us, of course I will have a look in the market.
“But I only will do something if it really makes sense. We never felt rushed in the summer window and, of course, we will have a look in the market. But with this dressing room with this character, if we do nothing, I am happy.
“We will see what happens. At the moment, we still have to be focused more on what happens in training and in the games rather than what happens in the window.”
Town’s win ensured that the club have breached the 40-point barrier – it took them until March 8 to achieve that feat last season.
Specifically on the significance of achieving that milestone while still in the old calendar year, Wagner added: “The chairman (Dean Hoyle) said at the beginning of the season that he did not want to tread water and we have done some steps as well in terms of the points we have collected so far.
“But we are still hungry and greedy and like to perform in the next game and the next game is at home against Blackburn.
“I think we have space to improve and are still not at our limit as individuals.”
Monday was also a red-letter day for Town’s West Yorkshire rivals Leeds, with gloss provided to their impressive mid-season surge with an outstanding 4-1 Roses success at Preston – fifth-placed United’s eighth win in their past 10 league outings.
Despite United’s healthy league placing, with their points tally after the Boxing Day programme being two points better than they amassed in 2010-11 when they just missed out on the top six, forward Kemar Roofe believes that Garry Monk’s side can still strive for more and push for automatic promotion.
On United aiming for the top two, Roofe, who netted United’s opener at Deepdale, said: “Of course. Why not? We just need to keep winning week-in, week-out and see where we get and just claw the teams above us back down. Reaching the play-offs would be massive. That was our aim in pre-season.
“We all came together and we all said that we wanted it. Hopefully we can get in there comfortably as well – or maybe automatic.
“We have got that desire but that togetherness as well – the willingness and the desire to win. As long as we take care of ourselves, then that is all we can do.”
Sheffield Wednesday supporters are also basking in the glow of a special Boxing Day after their side emulated the feat of Huddersfield by triumphing at St James’ Park against title favourites Newcastle United, beaten 1-0 thanks to a rare goal from Owls captain Glenn Loovens.
Head coach Carlos Carvalhal, whose side emphatically answered the charge that they struggle to beat promotion rivals with a magnificent performance, said: “It was an important win and the players absolutely deserved the three points against the strongest team in the competition at St James’ Park.
“The environment is very positive but I am thinking about Preston (on New Year’s Eve) now.
“It was an important three points, but we do not have time to party and celebrate because we have Preston and then Wolves, which will be very hard as all teams are in the competition. I am happy about my special players and fans, but we now prepare for the Preston game.”
Newcastle were knocked off top spot by Brighton, who beat 10-man QPR 3-0 yesterday. Goals from Sam Baldock, Glenn Murray (penalty) and Anthony Knockaert secured victory, as Rangers saw Nedum Onuoha sent off.
Elsewhere, Derby County are just a point behind the Owls after beating Birmingham City 1-0, thanks to Darren Bent’s penalty.