Huddersfield Town are facing a step up in class if they are to maintain their 100% Premier League record against Southampton.
That’s the honest appraisal of head coach David Wagner, who is taking nothing for granted as he bids to go into the international break on the back of a third straight top-flight win after Crystal Palace and Newcastle United.
Even though Southampton were beaten 2-0 at home by Championship Wolves on Wednesday night, they are seventh in the Premier League following a goalless draw at Swansea and a 3-2 win over West Ham.
This is their first away match of the campaign under boss Mauricio Pellegrino and Wagner said: “From my point of view, and this is no disrespect to Crystal Palace or Newcastle, this match is the next level.
“This is a different class and category of quality opponent in the Premier League.
“Southampton, I am totally sure, will finish in the top 10, maybe even higher, so we have to make another step in the right direction and be at our very best to be successful.
“I think we are aware of what is in front of us and we have to be prepared. We have to find some solutions to cause problems for them.”
Wagner says he is delighted with Town’s start, but they can’t afford to relax in any way.
“We are very happy with what we’ve done so far,” said Wagner, who is unlikely to make any further signings in the transfer window following latest arrivals Florent Hadergjonaj and Abdelhamid Sabiri.
“We have collected six points and we are in the next round of the Cup, with our performances being good as well.
“These are the first stages of adapting to the Premier League and every victory helps us to progress.
“Every defeat also helps you to progress (because of what you learn), but I enjoy the victories much more!
“This is all very important for a club which for so long was not in the top flight and never in the Premier League.
“Very early we have the feeling we are a competitor and we are capable of being in the Premier League.
“This is something we wanted to find out, if we have a chance of being a competitor, and I have trust and belief in the players to be brave enough with our idea and our identity.
“We have shown we have a chance in the first two matches and we used that chance.
“Now we have to look forward to Southampton and an even bigger challenge, so we have to prepare and make sure we are at our very best.”