David Wagner taking the positives from Man City defeat into Arsenal clash

David Wagner taking the positives from Man City defeat into Arsenal clash

Huddersfield Town visit the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, a few days after being on the end of a comeback from Pep Guardiola's league leaders.

Alex Turk

David Wagner admitted he was disappointed with the result, but was prepared to take the positives into Huddersfield Town's tough trip to Arsenal on Wednesday after falling short against Manchester City on Sunday evening.

Goals either at either end of the second half from club-record goalscorer Sergio Agüero and this season's top scorer, Raheem Sterling completed a comeback after Christopher Schindler gave the hosts a shock lead just before the break.

Positives to be taken to North London

When asked if he was disappointed that Pep Guardiola's side succumbed The Terriers to a second straight defeat, Wagner said: "Where should I start? Disappointed because of the result, yes, but happy because of the defensive performance and the attitude, the desire, the passion, the emotion the players have shown today.

"At the end, I think it makes total sense that we take the positives out of this game. This was, for sure, how we defended against the best team in the Premier League, against the best offensive team in the Premier League. I think everyone has seen their top, top quality and even against them we were able to keep them away from our goal as well as we could."

The Huddersfield boss believes there was a hint of luck about the visitor's 86th-minute winner but was eager to focus on the task at hand during midweek.

"At the end, we were a little bit unlucky before the second goal - I think if you get a draw out of this game you, of course, have a better feeling. I think the way they searched for their chances was absolutely okay, so then we have to take it, take the positives out of the game, recover because on Wednesday we have another good game."

Views given on big referee decisions

He didn't have any complaints against the Mr Craig Pawson's penalty decision though.

"No, I think it was a holding, a penalty."

It was no surprise that Wagner didn't see the red card incident, considering it occurred after the full-time whistle, so the safe card was played to avoid backlash.

"No, I haven't seen the video footage so far so I can't say anything about the red card. I've seen the footage regarding the penalty, this is why I can say it looks like a penalty from my point of view.

"I haven't seen him [Rajiv van La Parra] or seen the footage."

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Wagner gracious in defeat

Despite defeat, the German manager was gracious and stressed his understanding that he can only ask so much of his team in matches like these.

"Yeah of course. Listen, when you play against a team like Manchester City or Arsenal, we are not stupid, we are not blind, of course, the chances to get a result against these teams are probably a little bit less than in other games.

"Even if we have shown against Manchester United that it is possible, and we have seen today that with a little bit more luck it's also possible. But, even if there is only a small chance, you have to believe and you have to invest everything to make this chance a little bigger. 

"I think the players searched for the small chances today, unfortunately not claiming one point or more, but on Wednesday we'll try it again."

Town wanted to avoid a technical game


David Wagner was questioned about the aggressive nature of Manchester City's style, but insisted that it was what they wanted due to the Citizens' golden reputation.

"This was a little bit of what we wanted to do, to try to create a more physical football match rather than a technical football match. I think if you make it comfortable for an opponent like Manchester City, they can be comfortable and enjoy their football, then you are chanceless.

"If you want to have a chance, you have to make it very uncomfortable for them, you have to create an atmosphere on the grass and in the stands. We had a great atmosphere today in the stands, which shows you have passion and emotion and I think the players have done this today."

One of the players who combatted City's tireless performance was captain Tommy Smith, and Wagner was proud of the right-back's display on his return to the starting line-up.

"I think Tommy [Smith] took it very well when he wasn't a starter for the past few weeks and everybody knows that Tommy [Smith] played for Manchester City for a long time so this was also an emotional decision for me to give him the starting shirt against a team he played, I don't know, 10 years for."

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"Everything is in place"

Wagner was rightfully disappointed in the way in which his side lost the match, but still remained proud of how the players reacted to Agüero's 46th minute penalty.

"Yeah, of course. I think we conceded the penalty so early after one or two minutes, this was not the best situation, but how the players reacted afterwards was good. We conceded five minutes before the end in a very unlucky situation, to be honest, but Manchester City - top team - I don't think it's a surprise we lost.

"We can take our performance out of the game, the positives, and I expect that it'll be a very tough game for us on Wednesday as well."

The Huddersfield boss closed by stating the West Yorkshire club have nothing to prove in the top-flight of English football and once again signalled that all eyes were on Wednesday.

"Usually I don't feel like there's anything we need to prove because we've shown it so far, that we're competitive in the Premier League. I think we've played some very good performances, played some games where we've got results as well and we've been unlucky in some games, so we've had everything.

"But what counts in the end is that we've played 13 games, have 15 points and we've played against very, very good teams where I've think we've shown we can find solutions. So I think everything is in place so far, but now we have to recover as much as we can and make sure we have fresh legs because in three days we have the next opportunity."