Sheffield Wednesday: David Wagner calls on Terriers to silence Owls crowd

David Wagner
David Wagner

David Wagner has challenged his Huddersfield Town side to silence the Hillsborough crowd in the second leg of their play-off semi-final with Sheffield Wednesday.

More than 32,000 supporters are expected to flock to S6 for the second instalment of the tie tomorrow night.

The two Yorkshire clubs played out a goalless draw at the John Smith’s Stadium last weekend.

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Wagner said: “How the game goes will decide how the atmosphere is.If we score first, it can change the atmosphere. We have seen that this season when away at Newcastle and Leeds (games that Town won). We have some experience of the crowd being ‘on’ at the beginning. But, because of our style, our ball possession and always being a threat, you can silence the fans and calm them down.

“Also, as the home team you can feel a lot of pressure. The supporters will not be happy and that can have a negative influence on you as a home team.”

Wagner expects first-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward to train with his teammates today, having missed yesterday’s session due to illness.

There is a strong chance the tie could go to extra-time or even penalties.

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“You cannot practise a penalty shoot-out, in my opinion,” said Wagner, who led Huddersfield to a fifth-placed finish in the regular season.

“This is a totally different atmosphere if you come to a penalty shoot-out in the semi-finals. We are pretty confident that we are able to put the ball into the net from 12 yards.

“We have enough Germans in our team and everybody knows Germans are able to win penalty shoot-outs!”

Huddersfield last graced the top-flight of English football in 1972.

Wagner said: “It wasn’t a dream result for us on Sunday but it gives us every opportunity. All options are open and we are totally in the race. We are 0-0 at half-time, and we put in a strong performance.

“I am totally sure we can take confidence from that. A performance like that makes the chest (of a player) bigger when we go into the second leg at Hillsborough. We have every reason to be excited for the re-match.”

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