IF any manager in the Premier League can empathise with David Wagner over Huddersfield Town’s away day blues it is surely the incumbent of the home dugout today.
Marco Silva, appointed by Watford in the summer, spent five months at the helm of Hull City last season and never once was able to savour the taste of victory on the road.
Including a couple of cup ties, the Portuguese’s Tigers side lost nine of his 11 away games at the helm.
Goalless draws at Manchester United and Southampton were all Hull had to show for their efforts outside the East Riding so Silva will know exactly what Wagner is going through ahead of today’s clash at Vicarage Road.
Like Hull last term, Huddersfield’s survival bid is being undermined by travails away from their home, the John Smith’s Stadium, that have now reached club record proportions.
Town last scored on the road back in August, Steve Mounie’s second in the opening-day win at Crystal Palace to be precise.
Since then, a colossal 642 playing minutes and seven league outings have been and gone without anyone in Huddersfield colours being able to find the net.
The latest firing of a blank came a fortnight ago in defeat at Everton as Wagner’s men equalled their 1988 predecessors by chalking up that less than magnificent seven.
Another 90 minutes in Hertfordshire without a goal today will, therefore, mean the current crop standing alone in the record books – something goalkeeper Jonas Lossl insists can be avoided.
“We need that goal,” said the Danish international to The Yorkshire Post. “We all know this is the case. It has been too long without one away from home.
“People tell us this, but we know. And I say, ‘bring it on’ because I believe we can win this game. I do not see any problems with this being an away game.
“For me, it is just another game and one that is against a team where we have a chance to win. We will have opportunities to score and I believe we will take them.”
It is not just an unwanted place in Town’s record books that head coach Wagner’s men are in danger of claiming, but also those of the Premier League.
Four clubs have previously managed just eight goals away from home in a campaign, the most recent being the hapless Derby County side that crashed out of the top flight with a record low points tally in 2007-08.
I say, ‘Bring it on’ because I believe we can win this game. I do not see any problems with this being an away game. For me, it is just another game and one that is against a team where we have a chance to win.Huddersfield Town’s Jonas Lossl
Sheffield United, under Neil Warnock, found the opposition net away from Bramall Lane just eight times the previous campaign, a barren record that contributed hugely to their relegation.
Middlesbrough were another to go down with this paltry return in 1995-96, while Southampton bucked the trend three years later by finishing fourth-bottom despite an identically poor goalscoring record away from The Dell.
With today’s trip to Vicarage Road and a clash with the Hornets marking the halfway stage of Town’s away campaign, the firing of another blank would leave Huddersfield, who have just three away goals to their name, firmly on course to shatter this quartet of previous lows.
“We must not think anything negative,” added Lossl, a summer arrival on loan from Bundesliga club Mainz 05.
“We lost against Chelsea (in midweek), but there were positives to take from that game. For me, it was important that the game ended on a positive (with Laurent Depoitre’s stoppage-time header reducing the arrears to 3-1). Laurent’s goal should give us all a lift.
“Losing to Chelsea will not bring us down. They are a very, very good team. Everyone can see that. They are the champions. We did make too many individual mistakes, that is why we lost on Tuesday night.
“But we had a plan and we stuck to it. At the end, we scored and that was good. Okay, we didn’t get any points out of the game, but we cannot allow this to bring us down.
“We must also remember beating Brighton (last weekend). That has to give us confidence against Watford.
“Games against Chelsea will not decide our season. Of course, we always have a chance against those fantastic teams. We showed that against Manchester United when we won 2-1.
“But they are known as fantastic teams for a reason. Chelsea were better than us. We did not succeed and made those small errors that cost us.
“But we move on and Watford is our next game.”
Town have two opportunities to improve their away form before Christmas, a trip to Southampton laying in wait next weekend. Then comes a festive double-header at home to Stoke City and Burnley before Huddersfield head to Leicester City on New Year’s Day.
It is a busy period and one that will bring a big change for Lossl, who has previously benefited from a winter break at this time of year when plying his trade in Germany, France and Denmark.
“Playing at Christmas is something I have never tried before and everyone is talking about it,” he added. “I see it as fun.
“My family will come to visit me this year and there will be many different things for me to experience, including training. People say it is special to play football at this time of year.
“And, of course, we have some very important games. The teams we are going to meet make this a defining part of the season for us as a club. It is very important and we want to start with a positive result at Watford.
“Everything can change after that.
“We have to take the confidence of beating Brighton and then sticking to our jobs against Chelsea into this game at Watford.”