Ipswich v Huddersfield Town: Windows of opportunity are key for Wagner

LAST season, Huddersfield Town took until the halfway stage to reach the current points tally the club has from just 10 games.

David Wagner: Expecting a close encounter against Mick McCarthys side this afternoon.
David Wagner: Expecting a close encounter against Mick McCarthys side this afternoon.

It is a telling statistic that underlines the giant strides that the Terriers have made under David Wagner.

As, of course, does the fact Town head to Ipswich Town today sitting at the top of the Championship.

“We don’t have any targets,” insisted Wagner when asked how far his side were ahead of schedule this term. “We don’t give ourselves any limits so I could not have any expectations. But, yes, I am very happy with our first 10 games and with the start we have had.

“What we do have is a better squad than last season. Every manager strives to improve his squad every window and we have done that.”

Wagner was at St James’ Park on Wednesday night for a fixture that would have seen his side knocked off top spot with a Norwich win.

He left with the Canaries 3-2 ahead so was mightily surprised to later learn that Newcastle had scored twice in stoppage time to grab all three points and keep Huddersfield in pole position.

It means another win today at Portman Road will be enough to keep Huddersfield at the summit for a second consecutive international break. Wagner, though, is forecasting a tight game in Suffolk.

“I don’t expect many goals,” said the 44-year-old.

“A Mick McCarthy team is always very, very organised with a great fighting attitude. Always, a great work-rate. They don’t give you a lot of space on the pitch. It will be very, very difficult to play against them but we will do our best.”

Mark Hudson, Rajiv van La Parra and Chris Lowe return from suspension today to give Wagner the kind of selection headache he relishes.

“I want to have competition in my squad,” he added. “You are able to react during a game. It is good to be able to freshen up and be able to rotate. That means you have to make tough decisions but that is part of my job.”