Date: 5th April 2016 at 12:43pm
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Head coach David Wagner has now previewed tonight’s clash against Middlesbrough, calling it an ‘interesting challenge’.

Taking on the Riverside Stadium outfit later this evening with them pushing hard for promotion despite a wobble and a semi broken marriage only a few short weeks ago, the side have a fantastic home record this year and Wagner knows it’s going to be another tough game for the side as they look to get back to winning ways themselves following the weekend’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

Speaking to the Official Site in his pre game press conference, the gaffer explained that obviously there were positives to take from the last defeat but not only did we need to be as tight in defence as we were in that game, but we needed to be far better offensively to take the opportunities that will eventually come along.

‘We got a lot right in our defence on Saturday, but now we must try to create more and be stronger in our offence. Our target is always the same; to bring our identity onto the pitch. If we come near our maximum, it isn`t easy against us and we have a chance to win this game. We know we are playing against a very strong side; the best home team in the division, which has only conceded six home goals all season. It isn`t the easiest challenge, but it is a very interesting one and we are happy to play this game. We will take this challenge and enjoy this game. We must be totally focussed, do the simple things well, be very compact and don`t offer spaces to a footballing team. If we defend strongly, this will be the basis to be successful tomorrow. Then I know we have the individual quality and the offensive idea to hurt them, but we have to be clinical in front of goal. I`m sure we will get our chances. If we use our first chance and get the ball in the net, this could be a very interesting game. When you have such a good defensive record, conceding even one goal can make you really hurt, as they`ve only conceded six goals before. This has to be our target; to make sure we hurt them.’

With Wednesday seeing few chances for either side in the game, Wagner used that as proof that Huddersfield have to ensure they are far more clinical in the future as every chance counts, especially in the tighter games in the Championship.

‘We`ve played against other teams with good defensive record and scored against them; Preston, for example. We created a lot of good opportunities when we played Middlesbrough at home too. There are not a lot of teams that have scored more goals than us.’

The best chance of doing that in his mind, is by sticking to our preferred tempo in the game and focusing on our strengths and what we can do well.

‘For us it is always important, as we like to be ‘full throttle` with speed in our game. When you go away, maybe the opponent doesn`t expect this. Sometimes teams only want to survive when they play away, but this isn`t the style we try to play. We go to Middlesbrough trying to win the game in our style.’

One thing he does want to do in order for the squad to take the next step is to beat one of the top six now, and he’d of course love that to happen tonight.

‘Being realistic, there is a gap between us and them at the moment – but we are working hard to close this gap as time goes by. Part of that gap is in mentality and really knowing that you are good and can win games. We`re bringing that mentality to the Club and developing players to think this way. That sometimes comes through experience of success, but that takes time. I feel that we are on a good way in our journey, as I feel the people of Huddersfield do too, but this will not happen overnight. Making this happen is absolutely up to me.’

Moving on to the game itself, he also hinted there would be changes to the starting eleven – at least one if not more.

‘We will make changes, for sure; more than one. We will not decide exactly what we will do until after tomorrow morning`s training session. We are training tonight as well as tomorrow morning and then we will make the final decision. Who is on the pitch tomorrow isn`t the most important thing; it`s about how the team does on the pitch.’

James Husband is definitely out though as the terms of his loan deal mean he can’t feature against his parent club.

‘He will be involved with us at the weekend and then he has to go back to Middlesbrough, as his 93 days with us have finished. He has helped us and hopefully he can until the end of the week.’

In terms of injuries, namely Jonathan Hogg and Kyle Dempsey, he ended by saying.

‘Kyle Dempsey and Jonathan Hogg will be involved in training tonight for the first time. They will not be involved against Middlesbrough tomorrow, but this is earlier than we expected. I would praise my medical staff and the players as well. If they stay healthy, they can help us in the busy week that starts with Blackburn.’

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