Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner met with the media ahead of the Terriers' fourth-round F.A. Cup fixture against Sky Bet Championship side Birmingham City.
Both teams are in survival scraps as the Terriers sit in 14th place in the top flight on 24 points, two points clear of the relegation zone while the Blues sit second from bottom also on 24 points, one point from safety.
German isn't taking Blues lightly
Despite their difficulties in the Championship season, Wagner is not taking anything for granted, saying “We will not judge Birmingham City on the league table. We’ve seen a lot of their games and are aware of their strengths. They have proper Championship players in their team and we will give them all the respect they deserve.
“We have to make sure that Birmingham City's quality doesn’t shine by working hard against them. We want to progress.”
While speaking about his own players, he noted that “this group of players have to overperform to be successful, it was that case last season in the Championship and it’s the same case now in the Premier League.”
Wagner defends rotation policy
There undoubtedly will be some different faces on the pitch for Huddersfield on Saturday than what fans have seen so far, but Wagner is rotating players for a reason, explaining that “I don’t rotate to keep players happy, I only rotate when I have the feeling it makes sense to help us be successful.
"This is why performances and training is so important, to see who is competing for rotation.”
He also spoke of the desire to continue success in the competition: “Everyone likes to be successful and this is the case for us. Every win, no matter competition, helps you gain confidence and belief. Success is competitive football matches is why we are all working here.”
Terriers to field mostly healthy players
The gaffer gave an update on the overall status of his squad, saying “everybody is healthy apart from Elias Kachunga. Jon Stanković has been in training for one and a half weeks but this match is too early for him. The only position I can confirm is that Joel Coleman will start if everything goes to plan.”
Also of note is how Aaron Mooy has looked lately with Wagner explaining "I have seen that Aaron Mooy looked tired in the last few games; we’ve managed him individually in the last week and we have to continue to do so to get him back to his best.”