HUDDERSFIELD TOWN manager David Wagner admits Steve Mounie and Laurent Depoitre have given him food for thought by scoring in the last two pre-season victories as the Premier League opener against Chelsea homes into view.
The Terriers last night beat Serie A side Bologna in an entertaining friendly courtesy of a stoppage-time winner from Mounie.
It followed Depoitre’s double against Champions League qualifiers Lyon last week to leave Wagner with a big decision to make ahead of the August 11 meeting with Maurizio Sarri’s Blues.
“It is difficult, but this is part of my job,“ said the Huddersfield chief. “This is exactly the improvement I like to have.
“This helps us to improve, both individually and as a group. Yes it is difficult, but we wanted this, to have hard decisions to make.
“There are so many games over a season. Even if one of them is disappointed (against Chelsea) they know they will get used over the season.”
Conspicuous by their absence on this week’s Austria tour have been Michael Hefele, Scott Malone and Collin Quaner.
Danny Williams has also been missing as he continues to recover from the knee injury that ended last season early for the American, but it is the trio being left behind that has fuelled speculation of their possible departure before the window closes on August 9.
“I was not able to guarantee those players some game time and this is why we decided not to take them with us,” said Wagner. “They have worked in Huddersfield.
“Danny Williams is not ready and a different case, but all four wouldn’t have got game time. They were disappointed; no one is happy if they are fit and healthy, but not able to join the pre-season camps. But they are professionals and respect the decision.”
This is part of my job. This is exactly the improvement I like to have. This helps us to improve, both individually and as a group. Yes it is difficult, but we wanted this, to have hard decisions to make.David Wagner
Asked if Hefele, Quaner and Malone were still part of his plans, the Town chief added: “We had honest conversations with all three of them. Not only last week before we left Huddersfield, but also during the off season and at the beginning of pre-season.
“So far we have been able to give them game time in pre-season and able to give them time in training. We have done as much as we could to make them fit, but I saw it coming that it would not be possible to give them game time. We will see what happens when we are back in Huddersfield.”
Erik Durm, yet to feature in pre-season, should be involved on Friday against RB Leipzig.