Terriers’ switch in approach

Nahki Wells gets a shot across Daniel Ayala of Middlesbrough
Nahki Wells gets a shot across Daniel Ayala of Middlesbrough
Have your say

Preston North End’s Boxing Day opponents Huddersfield have gone for a change of approach and nationality in a bid to become stronger in the Championship.

David Wagner took up residence last month at the John Smith’s Stadium, the German becoming the Terriers’ first overseas boss.

Having been expected to follow his close friend Jurgen Klopp to Liverpool, it was a surprise to see Wagner opt to go it alone in Yorkshire.

He had worked with Klopp for a number of years at Borussia Dortmund, coaching their reserve side.

Wagner’s first taste of Christmas football in England is Preston’s visit to Huddersfield on Saturday.

Appointing Wagner, Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle said: “David’s football philosophy is directly in line with that of the club.

“He is our first head coach from outside the UK and Ireland and he brings a new approach and new ideas.

“His playing style echoes the one that has brought Borussia Dortmund such success over the last five years.

“Although the players are different, there are few fans who have watched that style in action and not found it enthralling to watch. I believe that will excite our fans.

“His approach is a winning one, he is a head coach that sets his teams up on the front foot to win matches.

“He also understands and believes in our plan of producing and developing its own players.

“That was a major part of his job in charge of Borussia Dortmund II.”

It has been quite tough going for Wagner in his first few weeks in charge.

There have been two wins and four defeats in the six games he has overseen.

Huddersfield’s latest outing was a 4-2 defeat at Brentford. They were 3-0 down by the interval, Wagner not impressed with what he saw.

Said Wagner: “It was the worst 45 minutes we have played together.

“We had no control over the game, we weren’t able to keep the ball, our first touch was bad as was our passing.

“They scored very early and our self-confidence wasn’t the best.

“The biggest problem was we didn’t trust enough in ourselves and our system.

“There was improvement in the second half, and I was pleased with the reaction but the first half wasn’t good enough and meant we didn’t deserve anything from the game.”

A better second-half display was sparked by a double change at half-time, with Nahki Wells and Kyle Dempsey joining the action from the bench.

Midfielder Dempsey, a summer signing from Carlisle, got on the scoresheet with a 90th-minute consolation.

Both he and Wells could now have played their way into the starting XI to face North End.

Ex-Bradford front man Wells is Huddersfield’s top scorer this season with five league goals, one ahead of midfielder Emyr Huws.

“I was pleased with both Nahki and Kyle at Brentford,” said Wagner.

“It was a game where we were able to give something positive from the bench. This is part of our plan but it isn’t the plan to be 3-0 down at half-time before we bring the subs on the field.”

One-time Preston loanee Harry Bunn will be in the Terriers squad to face PNE.

Bunn joined North End on loan from Manchester City in January 2012, scoring in his one appearance against Wycombe.

The striker then was not used by Graham Westley once he took over as manager.