Huddersfield Town v Manchester City: We have to be brave again, says Wagner

Huddersfield Town's, l-r, Laurent Depoitre, Steve Mounie, Christopher Schindler, Mathias Jorgensen, Rajiv van La Parra, Danny Williams and Elias Kachunga celebrate their win over Manchester United last month (Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire).
Huddersfield Town's, l-r, Laurent Depoitre, Steve Mounie, Christopher Schindler, Mathias Jorgensen, Rajiv van La Parra, Danny Williams and Elias Kachunga celebrate their win over Manchester United last month (Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire).
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AS Huddersfield Town chase a notable Manchester double by ending City’s unbeaten start, head coach David Wagner has urged his side to take inspiration from last month’s shock victory over United.

The Terriers host the Premier League runaway leaders tomorrow in a clash that will be shown live in 166 countries.

City are odds on to extend their winning run to 11 league games, one bookmaker even pricing a home victory as long as 18-1.

Town, though, have proved the bookies wrong already this term thanks to their stunning 2-1 over a Manchester United side who had also arrived in the West Riding as overwhelming favourites to leave with all three points.

“We are in the same division, but we are working under different circumstances,” said Wagner, whose side took City to a replay in the FA Cup last term.

“There is a difference between them and us, but there were also differences between us and our other opponents.

“We should not make this (difference) too big. We must focus totally on ourselves. If we are to have a small advantage over City on Sunday, it is that we play this game at home with our supporters behind us.”

Pep Guardiola’s side will arrive in the West Riding as arguably the most in-form team in Europe.

Just two points have been dropped in 12 league outings, while all five Champions League group games have ended in victory. Should Huddersfield become the latest team to be swept aside by the Blues, a new Premier League record of 37 points from the opening 13 matches will be set.

Wagner admits to having been hugely impressed by Guardiola’s “breathtaking” team, but points to the recent win over City’s Mancunian neighbours as proof that shock results do happen.

“Is it (a Manchester double) realistic?” he said with a smile. “I think the circumstance do not look that realistic.

“But everyone knows that in football sometimes the impossible happens. We will see if that happens on Sunday.

“Everyone knows that Manchester City, at the minute, are the best team in the Premier League.

“This also means they are probably one of the best teams in Europe, and the world.

“Personally, I think they are playing fantastic football at the minute. They have a very, very good manager in Pep and we know exactly what is in front of us.

“The good thing is that everyone is aware how exciting this moment will be for us. These opponents are why we were so happy when celebrating our promotion in Wembley.

“This is what it is so now we have the games in front of us, it feels more like a Champions League for us at Huddersfield Town rather than Premier League.

“All our supporters understand we have to step over our borderline to create something very special, something very extraordinary. You always have a chance, even if it looks like that the one we have on Sunday is only a small one. We will search for it.”

Those expecting a City walkover will, no doubt, point with glee towards a fixture between the two clubs almost exactly 30 years ago that inflicted Huddersfield’s record defeat.

Malcolm Macdonald’s team, destined to be relegated from the old Second Division a few months later, lost 10-1 at Maine Road on an afternoon when Tony Adcock, Paul Stewart and Dave White all notched a hat-trick apiece.

Far more pertinent, however, in terms of tomorrow’s encounter is how the Terriers applied themselves against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, the two other members of the top four to have visited the John Smith’s Stadium this term.

“If I compare those two performance and what we have delivered,” added Wagner, “I think in both games we were brave. In both games we were confident, in both games we followed our game plan. In one game it worked, in the other game it didn’t work (Spurs won 4-0).

“I expect us to be brave again, to be confident again and that we take energy from the stand into our game. We must follow our plan and, hopefully, our plan is a good one.

“And then we should not forget the opponent, if the opponents have the quality like Tottenham, Manchester United or Manchester City.

“Tottenham were at their very, very best on this day, United maybe they were not on their best on this day. No one knows how City will show on Sunday.”

Match preview: Page 3.