David Wagner: Huddersfield boss says he is always thinking about survival

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Huddersfield manager David Wagner
David Wagner (right) was appointed manager of Huddersfield in November 2015

Huddersfield manager David Wagner says he "never" stops thinking about Premier League survival, with his side sitting at the bottom of the table.

The Terriers are five points from safety, following Wednesday's 3-1 defeat away at Manchester United.

Their next two games come against Fulham and Burnley, both just above them in the table.

"It is never out of my head. Sometimes it is at the front, other times the back, but it is always with you."

The 47-year-old former Borussia Dortmund B team coach has enjoyed an outstanding three years at Huddersfield, taking the club from the Championship relegation zone weeks after he replaced Chris Powell in November 2015 into the top flight for the first time since 1972.

He secured Huddersfield's place in the Premier League thanks to back-to-back away draws at Manchester City and Chelsea in May.

Now though, the situation looks bleak following a run of six successive defeats this season.

"In recent weeks, I can't deliver the smile on the faces of our supporters and chairman. This doesn't satisfy me," Wagner said on Friday.

"They know how we perform. They know we try everything and work very hard. I know they will smile if we are successful."

Wagner's 'truth'

Even if Huddersfield were winning games, their plight would still consume Wagner's thoughts.

The fact they are not makes it even more tricky. It also means the players get to see their manager in the raw because, win or lose, Wagner can see no point in trying to mask his emotions.

He said: "That would make no sense for me.

"I am honest. I will not go in any meeting and tell them something I do not believe. This is not what I am. They should feel if I am disappointed or frustrated or if I am happy or delighted."

Wagner takes solace from the fact he - along with everyone else - knows exactly what Huddersfield's problem is.

Their return of 12 goals is the worst in the Premier League. With the exception of Newcastle, they have scored almost 50% fewer times than any of their top flight rivals.

And not one of those 12 has been scored by a recognised striker.

Little wonder Wagner is trying to bring in reinforcement, with both Liverpool's Dominic Solanke and Monaco's former Manchester City front-man Stevan Jovetic thought to be on his radar.

He said: "Our problem is so obvious. I can't say I don't feel pressure but I know what we have to change. The truth is we have not solved it so far.

"But it can only come through performances. I can't say I would like to play rubbish, then I will get the three points. That is not how it works."

Sobhi to head out on loan

Huddersfield announced on Friday that winger Ramadan Sobhi is set to join Egyptian club Al Ahly on loan when the transfer window opens on 1 January 2019, pending international and Premier League clearance.

The 21-year-old joined from Stoke City in June 2018 but has made just four competitive appearances as a substitute so far this season.


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