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Wagner says you’re barking up the wrong tree expecting his promoted Terriers to play more defensively

Date Posted,August 10, 2017

David Wagner is adamant that he will stand by his football principles in the ­Premier League — even if it means Huddersfield get a few hammerings.

Wagner’s attractive, high-pressing style won many ­admirers as he guided his team to a surprise promotion, via the Championship play-offs, in May.

Few neutrals give the Terriers a chance of surviving their first top-flight campaign since 1971-72.

And even Wagner admits his players face a huge job to prove the doubters wrong — especially after they got a taste of what to expect when they faced Manchester City in the FA Cup last season.

The Terriers are in the top flight for the first time since 1972 — and most pundits expect a one-year stay (Image: AFP)

Huddersfield held Pep ­Guardiola’s star-studded visitors at the John Smith’s Stadium in their fifth-round tie, only to be ­walloped 5-1 at the Etihad in the replay.

But Wagner said: “We will not change our football identity.

“I want people to recognise that this is Huddersfield.

The Yorkshiremen did score first at Man City — but were eventually blown away (Image: Action Images via Reuters)

“There will be games where we have to change our style, but it makes no sense to change what made you strong because you are in the Premier League.

“We stuck to our identity against Manchester City in the FA Cup last season. We drew at home and then got smashed 5-1.

“That could happen again, but we will stick to our identity.”

Wagner has spent more than £38million, bringing in 10 ­players, including £11m club-record signing Steve Mounie from Montpellier, to get Huddersfield ready for ­Saturday’s season-opener away to Crystal Palace.

He is closing in on another signing, with full-back Andy Yiadom set to make a £3.5m move from neighbours Barnsley.

Striker Mounie is among almost a whole new team signed since the playoff final (Image: PA Wire)

Wagner said: “Lots of people said it’s unrealistic for us to be in the ­Premier League. But we have shown the impossible is possible in football.

“We are in this league ­because we are ambitious.”

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