Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner spoke to the press ahead of Tuesday's match at home to Liverpool. The Terriers are in 14th place in the Premier League table while the Reds have lost two in a row, but still occupy a top four position.
Wagner discusses team's chances, friendship with Klopp
After handing Manchester City their only defeat of the season so far, Liverpool dropped points away to Swansea City thanks to a 1-0 defeat whilst crashing out of the FA Cup to West Bromwich Albion. But the German is not taking anything for granted: “Liverpool lost two games in a row, does that mean we will be successful? No, but it means we have a chance.”
Also discussed about was the friendship Wagner shares with Reds boss Jürgen Klopp, stating: “Jürgen and I have a friendship which is extraordinary, but come 8pm that doesn’t matter. We will try everything and fight for every ball.”
German gives player update
Following the 1-1 draw with Birmingham City, Wagner spoke about a number of players, beginning with goal scorer Steve Mounie: “Steve (Mounie) started against Birmingham City because he trained very well. He started, he scored and the goal will increase his confidence.”
There was also praise for Florent Hadergjonaj with the gaffer stating “Florent played very well against Birmingham City and we have competition on this position. If my players have the chance, they have to take it and perform. Everyone is aware of this.”
The Terriers latest signing Alex Pritchard was cup-tied after having signed from Norwich City, but Wagner said the club "used that time to conduct fitness tests with him. He’s shown us his qualities and he’s a good addition to the squad. He adds something into our game".
Wagner will "never question character" of his team
Overall, the manager is happy, saying “I will never the question the character of my group. We have great characters that try everything, sometimes they make mistakes but that’s something we have to work on".
He added that “they always try, I have seen it and that’s why I have no doubt about their characters.". He also further detailed his reasoning on rotating the squad: “I don’t judge my players on just one game because I see them in training every day as well.
“We’ve seen some good performances against Birmingham City, we have competition & a squad where everyone’s more or less available. You have to be switched on to be selected.”
Manager looks back to last match against Liverpool
Reflecting back on the first matchup between the two teams, which resulted in a 3-0 win for the Reds at Anfield, Wagner assessed that “We were able to keep Liverpool quiet until we made a mistake for them to score". He wants the Terriers "to be mentally strong enough to focus as individuals and as a group for the full 90 minutes.”
The German also feels “Without making easy mistakes we have a chance, this was the case against Liverpool earlier this season. If we are able to avoid individual mistakes then we are able to collect points.”