Huddersfield boss David Wagner 'hungry' for FA Cup shock against Manchester City

16 February 2017 04:09

Huddersfield head coach David Wagner is feeling "hungry" for an FA Cup shock against Manchester City on Saturday.

Club chairman Dean Hoyle said the fifth-round tie at a sold-out John Smith's Stadium was a "welcome distraction" before the serious business of Tuesday night's home clash with Sky Bet Championship promotion rivals Reading.

But Wagner, whose in-form side have emerged as serious automatic promotion contenders, admitted to feeling greedy when asked which game he would prefer to win.

"Does it sound like I'm being too hungry when I say I'd like to have both?" he said.

"When Huddersfield Town plays against Man City is it realistic that Huddersfield will win? No it isn't.

"It's totally unrealistic in my opinion. Is it possible? Yes it is possible because it's football and nobody knows the result before a game.

"We will play this game with total freedom because it's a different competition, we don't have to worry about anything."

Wagner's side climbed to within four points of second-placed Brighton in midweek, with Championship leaders Newcastle a further point clear.

Since early December, they have won 12 of their 15 games in all competitions, losing only once, and Tuesday night's 3-2 victory at Rotherham was their sixth on the bounce.

Such statistics suggest Town could join City in the Premier League next season and end a 45-year wait for top-flight football.

Hoyle said in a radio interview on Thursday that the Cup tie was a bonus with the main focus on Reading three days later, but if Wagner privately feels the same he was not letting on.

"We're not comparable with Manchester City," the German said. "I don't know how many steps and levels are between us and them.

"But I think this is why everybody loves the Cup. You have the chance to compete against such an opponent, which you probably only have if they like to play a friendly against you and usually they don't.

"Now they play in the competition against us, in the FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world.

"We are still involved and we are happy about this and we will try, for sure, our best to be successful."

Wagner has sought the advice of Jurgen Klopp, who masterminded Liverpool's Premier League win against City on New Year's Eve, but said his good friend's help was limited.

"The problem is that he is Klopp and is the manager of Liverpool and I'm not sure what works for him at Liverpool will makes sense for us at Huddersfield.

"He is not able to help us on Saturday. Of course we have spoken about this game. He said good luck!"

Wagner will go head-to-head with another big-name manager in Pep Guardiola and hopes his time with the Spaniard is not restricted to the obligatory pre-match handshake.

"He is one of the best in the business, for sure," Wagner added.

"But who is on the other side is irrelevant for me. I wish I could have more than only a handshake with him and speak with him a little about football.

"Unfortunately this will not happen and this is why it's irrelevant. I wish I'd had more time with Rafa Benitez against Newcastle or Roberto Di Matteo, unfortunately it doesn't happen, just a quick handshake."

Source: PA


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