A LITTLE over six years on from the final meeting of four in two years together as League One rivals, Huddersfield Town and Southampton will this afternoon go head-to-head as one of eight unbeaten teams in the Premier League.
It is a remarkable turn of events that barely seemed possible when that quartet of games in the third tier between 2009 and 2011 ended with honours even via two wins apiece.
For David Wagner, Southampton are a club to be admired and an example to which many others should aspire.
“Southampton looks like a proper, stable Premier League club where everyone knows what he is doing,” said the 45-year-old about today’s visitors to the John Smith’s Stadium.
“They have been able to build and progress, step by step. I think they have done it very well. They are a top team with high individual quality and a togetherness and a spirit in their side.”
When informed by The Yorkshire Post about those meetings between the two combatants in the not-too-distant past, Wagner admitted to being unaware Southampton had spent two years in League One.
“That is very interesting,” he added. “If they are an example to which we can follow, I don’t know because I don’t know Southampton well enough. I have no idea where Southampton’s starting point was.
“If you are in the third tier, it could be the moment you have a big, big financial investor and that makes things easier.
“Our club with Dean Hoyle has written its own story. That is why I think it is not comparable with other clubs, even if we are a similar-sized club to Burnley or if the club was in the same division as us five or six years ago.”
As for today, Wagner added: “We are excited to play a top team in the John Smith’s Stadium.”