Monday 23 July 2018

Huddersfield boss David Wagner expects 'next level' test against Southampton

Huddersfield host Southampton in the Premier League this weekend
Huddersfield host Southampton in the Premier League this weekend

David Wagner expects a step up in quality as Huddersfield look to continue their flying start in the Premier League against Southampton.

The Terriers, back in the top flight after a 45-year absence, have won their first two league games of the season against Crystal Palace and Newcastle.

Saints are their next opponents at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday and Wagner is calling on supporters to ramp up the atmosphere for what he feels will be their toughest test yet.

Wagner said: "From my point of view, and this should not be disrespectful for Crystal Palace or Newcastle, I think this is now the next level. This is a different class, a different category of quality in the Premier League.

"Southampton are a clear competitor for the top 10, maybe more. For this we have to be prepared. We are aware what is front of us and it is up to us to find the solutions to cause them some problems.

"For sure we have to make the John Smith's Stadium a place where it is really tough for an opponent to come. This is not only our responsibility, this is the responsibility from the stands as well.

"I know they will help us, I have trust and believe in them. They are aware what is front of us. We will only be successful with energy and atmosphere from the stands and intensity and quality on the grass."

Huddersfield have not won their first three matches of a top-flight season since 1924 and another victory this weekend would make them the first newly-promoted Premier League club to do so since Bolton in 2001.

The game also comes just seven years after the clubs were playing each other in League One.

Wagner is pleased with the start to the campaign, which includes Wednesday's Carabao Cup win over Rotherham, but is not getting carried away.

"It is only a start," the German said. "Even if we have played well and got six points on the board, we know it is only a start. We can be happy with what we have done so far but it means more or less nothing. There are a lot of games to go.

"The circumstance is we have the chance to come into the first international break with a 100 per cent record and maybe able to write Premier League history. I am unsure how many teams were able to win their first three Premier League games.

"But this is not in our head. In our head is only how we can be successful against Southampton. What we have done before is irrelevant. It doesn't help us for what comes on Saturday."

Press Association

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