Michael Hefele reflected on Huddersfield Town’s performance, and apologises to his team mates over his individual mistake which ended up costing the Premier League side a win at the John Smith’s Stadium over Championship Strugglers Birmingham City.
He also discusses the upcoming league games and his injuries.
Steve Mounié scored his fifth goal for the Terriers in the 21st minute, after a cross from Florent Hadergjonaj. However, Hefele’s mistake allowed ex-Town loanee Lukas Jutkiewicz to equalise for the Blues.
Huddersfield are now set to face a replay at St. Andrew’s in the first week of February, and must win that if they are to progress into the FA Cup Fifth Round.
We should have won
Despite there being 28 teams between them in the leagues, the German felt that the game was tough, but that Town did play well: “The first half we played very well and created some chances and we should have won the game 1–0.”
Huddersfield also had multiple chances in the second half, from substitutes Philip Billing and Joe Lolley, among others, but neither managed to get the better of City keeper David Stockdale.
He has apologised to the team for his error: “I did this mistake and I am sorry for the team because they worked very hard. I want to play out from the back and it goes a little bit wrong. He takes the shot and it goes directly in the corner.”
Despite this mistake, the 27-year-old thought that he played alright for the rest of the game.
When discussing the replay that is now set to take place, he said: “Now we have to take the longer way with the away game. But if we win we are in the next round.”
With Premier League survival being the priority for Huddersfield this season, a replay was something they didn’t really need. However, manager David Wagner, has commented that the last thing he wanted was to be out of the cup this early, so a replay is better than that in his eyes.
When Hefele was asked if this was another game that Town didn’t need, he responded: “You have to take it, this is England. There are so many games.”
Town will prepare to face the “big” clubs in next two league matches
Huddersfield fans don’t have long to wait before they can return to the John Smith’s Stadium, as the West Yorkshire side host Liverpool on Tuesday night, where rival managers but also best friends, Wagner and Jürgen Klopp meet in the league for the second time.
They then travel to Old Trafford on Saturday to face Manchester United, where Jose Mourinho will be hoping for anything but the repeat of the famous result that ended up being their first defeat of the season back in October.
When discussing these next two games, Hefele said: “We have some big clubs coming up. Liverpool are a big, big team and the manager will prepare us properly and we will fight on Tuesday to get something out of the game.”
‘Heff’ is ready to get back playing regularly
Hefele’s appearances have been limited to Cup games and 1 minute of Premier League action this season, as he has spent time recovering from an Achilles injury.
However, he now feels these are behind him: “I feel good. I have no problems with my Achilles now. I am fine and I just want t play, but that is down to the manager.”