I always dream about making difference in these big games, says Michael Hefele

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN'S derby match-winner Michael Hefele admitted that he had to hold back tears after being overcome with emotion following his late goal against Leeds United.
Huddersfield Town goalscorers Izzy Brown and Michael Hefele salute the fans at the end of the win over Leeds United (Picture: PA).Huddersfield Town goalscorers Izzy Brown and Michael Hefele salute the fans at the end of the win over Leeds United (Picture: PA).
Huddersfield Town goalscorers Izzy Brown and Michael Hefele salute the fans at the end of the win over Leeds United (Picture: PA).

Hefele sparked scenes of ecstasy among Town’s players and supporters with his 89th-minute strike and his dramatic winner represented a dream come true for the German defender.

On his golden moment, Hefele – whose goal enabled David Wagner to become the first Huddersfield boss to complete a league double over Leeds since Clem Stephenson achieved that feat in 1930-31 – said: “It was a very, very big moment in my career in such a big derby.

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“To win with a strong team performance is unbelievable for everybody and I just wanted to give something back to these great supporters who make this stadium a magic place.

“I can imagine how important this derby (win) is for Huddersfield Town as I played some important derbies in Germany and I know how important it is for the supporters.

“For me, these are the most beautiful games.

“I was feeling that I had my chance in the first half with the header.

“But I always dream about making the difference in these big games and I was just so unbelievably happy when the ball came and I thought, ‘oh, yes – you just have to concentrate and sink it in’.

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“Then the whole crowd was coming and all my team-mates. It was just so emotional. I started to cry a little bit and I had to say, ‘don’t cry, don’t cry’.

“But it is a dream for me and I am just a stupid believer and dreamer. I am just so proud of this very, very good team.

“It was a tough, hard game, but at the end, the better team won when you see how many chances we had.”

The scenes of joy prevalent among Hefele and his team-mates at Town – who leapfrogged Leeds in the Championship table following victory – contrasted markedly with the desolation of United’s players, with the enthusiastic on-pitch celebrations of Wagner with his players also rubbing further salt into wounds, according to visiting captain Kyle Bartley.

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The United defender had no argument with the merit of Town’s victory and felt that they were the better team on the day, but says that the sight of Wagner celebrating with his players will stick in his and his team-mates’ craw.

Bartley was seen in conversation with Wagner following the final whistle and says that he expressed his views on the subject to the German head coach.

Bartley said: “I don’t know why he was back on the pitch.

“He had been sent off, so he should have stayed off the pitch. I just said to him that he should have had a bit more respect (when Huddersfield scored).

“There’s 22 players on the pitch and the pitch is for the players, not for the manager.

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“For me, he lacked a bit of class and respect for the players and it should have been dealt with a lot better.

“I am sure we will see them (Huddersfield) again sooner or later and that will be in the back of our minds.”

Admitting that Leeds will use yesterday’s derby hurt as motivation in the run-in to the end of the season, Bartley added: “That will be the motivation for the rest of the season.

“ Not just one game or two games.

“We do move on, but it sticks in the back of our memory and we will try and use this to really push on for the rest of the season.”