HEAD COACH David Wagner is urging Huddersfield Town to take a significant step towards creating another piece of contemporary history on Saturday to crown a week that has seen the club celebrate their finest hour.
Yesterday marked the 92nd anniversary of Town clinching the old Division One championship on April 12, 1926 when they famously became the first English club to win the top-flight title for the third successive season.
That special date in the calendar is now recognised each year as Huddersfield Town Day by Terriers supporters, with the club duly paying homage to that achievement.
A bust of legendary Huddersfield manager Herbert Chapman – who led the club to league honours for the first time in 1923-24 and followed up with more title silverware in 1924-25 – was behind current head coach Wagner at his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s huge Premier League home game against Watford.
It provided a fitting reminder of a golden era for Town, who completed their hat trick of titles under Cecil Potter in 1925-26, Chapman having left for Arsenal in June 1925.
While paying due reverence to the club’s glorious past, Wagner and Town supporters are equally conscious that history is beckoning for the current crop of players with the 2017-18 campaign approaching its home straight.
After last season’s historic first promotion to the Premier League since its foundation in 1992-93, Wagner’s side have their sights set on recording another landmark modern-day accomplishment in the shape of securing top-tier football for the second consecutive year.
For Wagner, that accolade would eclipse last season’s feats, with he and everyone connected with the club being mindful that victory over Watford this weekend would potentially go a long way towards clinching survival.
He said: “I think it makes no sense to compare different centuries of the football club or different histories.
“Every achievement should stay for itself. The achievement which the club made so long ago was an outstanding achievement.
“We should judge every achievement for every single period. This group of players at this football club achieved their own history (last season). This makes more sense. Let us see every achievement for its own and do not compare.
“Last season’s promotion was a fairytale with a great, happy end. But if we stay up it is bigger. For me it is bigger.
“This is why if we can stay up it is not a fairytale; it is a miracle if we are able to survive. With five games left the players know they can write another chapter in the history of the club, another unbelievable, successful chapter in the history of the club.
“We have reached something that, in 46 years, nobody has done before. The players will now work their socks off to create another chapter of the club.
“This is miles away from everything every supporter, including (chairman) Dean (Hoyle), who is the biggest supporter, had in their heads.”
Fifth-from-bottom Town currently hold a four-point buffer over the side occupying the final relegation place in Southampton, although Mark Hughes’s side do have a game in hand.
With five matches to go Wagner’s side are well placed to achieve their Holy Grail of top-flight survival although they are under no illusions about the importance of tomorrow’s home match with 12th-placed Watford, with an arduous run-in featuring games against champions-elect Manchester City, current champions Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton.
Urging his side to make one final push, starting with tomorrow’s key fixture, the German added: “So far we have got the absolute maximum out of our football club, our dressing room.
“We squeezed out everything from everybody at this football club.
“It is only really successful if we can get this over the line. We would like to grab this chance.”
Meanwhile, Wagner has hailed the winning mentality of “real leader” Jonathan Hogg, who has handed Huddersfield a big boost by declaring himself fit for tomorrow’s game against his former club.
Town’s stand-in captain had been a doubt for the game after being on the receiving end of a heavy challenge from Brighton’sDavy Propper, which resulted in the Seagulls player being dismissed 16 minutes from time in last weekend’s 1-1 draw.
Hogg subsequently went off with ten minutes to go, but has been given the all-clear ahead of the crunch game with the Hornets.
On Hogg, in outstanding form so far this season, Wagner said: “Hoggy is our proper ‘Terrier’. If you have to create a player of what a Terrier is all about, it is Hoggy. He has this mentality, attitude and desire.
“He always likes to go over the brink and change the border line.
“On the grass he is a real leader, everyone respects him even if his emotions are too high. But I love this player.”