HUDDERSFIELD TOWN head coach David Wagner believes that his side will have “no worries” about relegation from the Premier League if they can replicate the performance levels of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Swansea City.
Despite witnessing his side frustratingly fail to find a breakthrough against visitors who were reduced to ten men in the 11th minute after Jordan Ayew’s dismissal, Wagner insists that there were numerous positives to take ahead of forthcoming key games against fellow strugglers Crystal Palace, Newcastle United, Brighton and Watford.
The point saw sixth-from-bottom Town move four points clear of the drop zone following an afternoon when the hosts’ possession figure of 80.84 per cent was the second highest in a Premier League game since 2003-04 – only behind Manchester City’s 82.28 against QPR in May 2012.
A one-sided game also saw Swansea become only the third side to fail to have a single shot in a Premier League match, with Wagner adamant that Town – who hit the woodwork twice and had 30 efforts on goal – still have plenty of momentum despite being denied.
Wagner, whose side registered their first clean sheet in 13 matches in all competitions and first in the league since the 0-0 home draw with Burnley on December 30, said: “I have zero worries after the performance and at where we are in the table after 30 games with eight games to go.
“I am absolutely fine and have never been more confident about our chances to stay up because the players have shown everything performance-wise.
“If we play like this I have no worries. Like when we played Manchester United at home, West Brom away and Bournemouth at home. Performance-wise we are strong and we have less injury problems with (Elias) Kachunga back in training since Thursday.”
On his side’s upcoming critical run of games, the German added: “Everyone can look at it how they like. In the last four games we played against three teams which were in and around us and got seven points.
“Now we are speaking about the next three games where we play against teams around us.
“How I deal with it is by focusing on performance. What can I say. We performed on a very decent level and have momentum.
“Even against Manchester United we performed very well, even though we lost, and we performed well against West Brom and Bournemouth, where we won.
“Sometimes with the performance you do not always get in football what you deserve.
“You need luck in football. Or you need top, top, top quality if you play games like this.
“We have good players and good quality, but we had no luck and this is what we have to accept.
“People who are worried have not a clue about what circumstances we are working in here. It is always important to take the positives.
“The stats showed they (Swansea) had no shots and corners. We did not give them a breather and we dominated and hit the bar and the post. I can see the development and progression of the side.
“Performance-wise I cannot blame anyone. We tried everything and pushed to the final second.
“I am frustrated about the result because we deserved the three points. But I will not get driven away because there are too many positives.
“We had another point, a clean sheet and another incredible home support and we will have it again next Saturday.”
Meanwhile, central defender Mathias Zanka echoed the sentiments of Wagner in stressing that Town remain very much on target to achieve their mission statement of top-flight survival despite failing to claim three points against the Swans, who played for 79 minutes with ten men.
Accentuating the positives after the 0-0 draw, the Dane said: “We have got 31 points, we need nine (more) and there are 24 left to play for. That is it.
“I would have definitely settled for that at the start of the season. It is not set that we will need 40 points.
“I do not think we are in a position where we can stand here and say we lost points in the Premier League.
“We are a side which was just promoted and we have a budget that is smaller than almost everyone else in the league, so every point we scrape in this marathon is welcome.
“We will see come the end of the season if it is enough, but at the moment it is a positive outlook for us.
“We were all disappointed after the game, but we were positive because we delivered a good performance and that is what we need to take into the next game against Crystal Palace.
“Of course, we have to swallow it and know we now have a crucial game that is coming up on Saturday.”