Their friendship was a topic of discussion at the press conference with Wagner today as were current injury concerns and the head coach’s opinions about VAR.
Read all of David Wagner's thoughts in the full transcript of the pre-match press conference below...
So these are the two knocks we got, everybody else is fit.
On Huddersfield Town’s winless run...
First and foremost, like always, we are focused on ourselves. We always expected that this can happen.
It’s nothing that we really wanted but we had a similar period in November and we turned it [around] because we were focused on ourselves - this is exactly the same what we have to do now.
It’s a great opportunity tomorrow night in front of our home crowd which we like to use and this is exactly what we have to do.
I think we should not, and this is for sure the truth, get carried away too far after this period where we didn’t have the results which we wanted to have.
On Liverpool’s recent defeats...
There have to be a lot of details go in your favour which was [the case] when Swansea beat Liverpool.
They scored the first goal; they were really on it; they gave them a real fight; Liverpool were maybe not on their best; the crowd were there in Swansea; they scored the first goal which is important very often as well.
This was everything that happened in this game and we had the same when we’ve beaten Man United.
Now we’ve seen West Brom who’ve beaten Liverpool in a very comfortable way to be totally honest, I was very impressed with what they did against them at Anfield, which is not the easiest place to go, like everybody knows.
Liverpool lost two games now, in a row. They look vulnerable at the moment. Does it mean we will be successful? No. Does it mean we have a chance? Absolutely. Like in every game, especially here at home in the John Smith’s Stadium.
And if there’s a chance we will be there to grab it with both hands - how we always go into these games in the Premier League. Now against Liverpool we have the next opportunity.
On his friendship with Jurgen Klopp...
There is a friendship, a big one, between the families as well and there is no secret about it.
We have a friendship and relationship which is extraordinary but tomorrow night this doesn’t matter.
It’s all about Huddersfield against Liverpool and we are both in situations where we really need the points.
Liverpool can have all the points in the Premier League but not tomorrow night.
For this we will try everything, we will fight for every yard in this stadium tomorrow to cause them the biggest problems that they can ever have.
This is our aim for tomorrow and for this we need every single voice in the stadium tomorrow.
The atmosphere has to be extraordinary so we can get a result.
On swapping advice with Jurgen Klopp...
We have spoken about the Premier League, about opponents, about individual players.
This is, I think, the nature if you have your best friends in the same division in the same country.
Sometimes we have played opponents they played the week before or the other way round - of course we spoke about them with one another. But not this week.
On VAR controversy in Liverpool's game with West Bromwich Albion...
He [Klopp] was on the lucky side so I was happy for him but it doesn’t change my opinion.
Maybe I’m a traditionalist in this case, I like the nature of the game and I don’t like it if we change because of new technology, which we now have too much of in the game.
I like the goal line technology, I really do, but this VAR disturbs the atmosphere and the feeling and the excitement and the moment when you score.
You are unsure whether you can celebrate. It takes minutes, sometimes more, to make decisions. Sometimes the referee has to go to the TV with all the pressure of 50,000 around him in the stadium he has to make a decision. I don’t like it.
Even though some decisions are more correct I’ve seen a lot of decisions from the VAR in Germany where it was not correct and then we only change the discussion from the referee to the VAR.
We have this in England as well so I don’t like it but I’m not the man who will make the final decision if this will continue or how it should look like.
The biggest problem is for the supporters in the stadium who have no clue what happens at the minute because they haven’t got the video footage.
The people who watch it from the sofa are the people who it suits more, even if I have seen it on the sofa on a Saturday and I don’t like it.
In football everything can happen. As I have said before I am not in the market, we are not in the market.
I’ve said this before: we did everything we wanted to do but in football, everything can happen. This is the same case in our football club.
This is now the answer I have given for three weeks and this is the same case today.
Nothing happened in the last three weeks so you can imagine what is the aim for the next two days as well.
On enquiries for his players...
Probably [some have come in] but not officially on my desk.
I’m not sure what is going on behind the scenes but I made it clear to every agent and every player as well that they don’t have to call us up because we would like to keep our group together.
The task which we’ve had since the beginning of the season is difficult enough, everybody knows this, everybody has seen it as well.
So one thing we have to do is to keep this group together and make sure that everybody is healthy and as fit as he can be to be successful.
We are in the middle of the race to get over the line and for this we have to have our best players in our squad for the rest of the season.
On Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s potential move to the Premier League...
He will be top class. He’s a top class striker, goalscorer, he has everything.
The club who will sign him can be very happy, for sure, I really like this player.
On Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang moving to Huddersfield Town...
I’m not a dreamer. I don’t waste my time and energy with something that will never happen.
On players that impressed against Birmingham City...
I don’t judge my players on one game. I’ve seen them and I will see them every single day in training as well.
Always this is the nature of the game because some players were able to impress more, some less, and then everybody has a next chance in training or the next game.
We’ve seen some good performances against Birmingham like we’ve seen some good performances the week before.
We have competition we have a squad where apart from these small, not serious, injuries, everybody is available.
Everybody has to be switched on to get selected. This is exactly what every manger likes and if you get selected in the starting eleven or squad it makes sense that you deliver.
Everybody is aware about this and this is how we’ve done it since I arrived and hopefully all the players can show their best like they’ve often done in the past.
On Steve Mounié scoring...
Goals are always important for the confidence of every single player and especially for strikers.
To be totally honest this was why Steve started because he trained very well so we had the feeling a goal is close to him and he’s done it, he’s scored.
This helps to grow his confidence, to still make the hard, difficult, defensive yards. To know, ‘OK I can work and I have to work for the group in the defence and I still will get opportunities and I’m able to score’.
This is part of our game. Everybody always have responsibility for everything. The strikers for the defence, the defensive players for the offence as well and I’m very happy and pleased for him that he scored.”
On Steve Mounié not good as a sub...
On full-backs finding it tougher than last year...
Definitely they’ve found it harder in the Premier League rather than the Championship but this counts for every position.
Flo [Florent Hadergjonaj] played very well, absolutely. He’s done it with his assist and I think we have competition in this position.
If the players have the chance, they have to show their best, they have to concentrate in the offence and the defence every single second and perform.
Then they can continue and get a run of games. If not, the competition is too high that we can’t say ‘OK come, on next game, next game, next game, another mistake, another mistake, another mistake.’
This isn’t how it works but everybody is aware about this and this is a good thing if you have a healthy big squad that you have the competition then everybody knows ‘OK, great I have the chance to perform and to deliver.’
On Terence Kongolo...
He is fully in competition [for places]. I think now he has the fitness level where we can expect that he is fully in competition as well because now he is with us in training for three and a half weeks, played games over 90 minutes as well.
I’m very happy that we have him in our squad. He has shown what a good player he is and that he suits us and he is able to play left centre back and left full back as well, which gives us more options - the option to play with the three back line.
So I’m very happy that we have him in our squad.
On Terence Kongolo’s big game experience...
I was aware about it but if he only plaid these games without the quality then we wouldn't sign him.
We’ve known that he played big games in the past but we have seen that he performed at a very high level as well consistently and this was the reason why we signed him.
On Alex Pritchard...
Unfortunately he is cup-tied and was not able to help us [against Birmingham].
We used this time to catch up some fitness and he made some fitness tests so we can compare him to the fitness level of the other players as well.
He is still learning how we try to play the game but he has shown that he has his qualities and that he will help us for the rest of the season.
He is a good addition for our squad because we don’t have this small, creative player who is very mobile in our squad and he adds something into our game. If we need it, we are very happy that we can use him.
On Town's defeat to Liverpool at Anfield...
Don’t make easy mistakes. I think this is the headline after this game and so far for us and in this season.
If we play games against every opponent without making easy mistakes we have a real chance, we really do.
And this was the case against Liverpool when we conceded a shot after half time after a long ball and an avoidable individual easy mistake - the 1-0.
And then it’s very difficult if you play at Anfield in these circumstances.
This is what it’s all about. If we are able to avoid the clear individual big mistakes then we are always competitive and very often able to collect points.
This is where we as individuals and as a group have to work on - that this will not happen in the future.
On fine margins against the big sides...
To be totally honest when I compare these two games this is the biggest difference.
Against Man United we haven’t made these big individual mistakes and we went 1-0 up which plays in our cards. Against Liverpool we kept the clean sheet until 55-60 minutes when we conceded the first goal and then we made this individual mistake and then we were 1-0 down.
This was the biggest difference. We were able, when we played Liverpool away to keep them quiet, to make sure they had less opportunities for the first 60 minutes until we conceded the first one.
This was exactly the same against Man United and then this situation changed the game and this is why it’s so important we mentally are strong enough to be focused from the first to the final whistle as an individual and as a group as well.
Then, with our supporters, with the atmosphere at our back, I am pretty sure that we have a chance. Maybe it didn’t look like the biggest one but we have a chance I’m totally sure.
On the Manchester United result being good for mental strength...
I know what you mean but for example against Man City we were very tight as well and then we conceded very late after we made an individual mistake and we were very unlucky.
I like to make one thing totally clear: I will never question the character of this group - this makes no sense.
I cannot praise the character of my players for two and a half years and now when we have maybe a less successful I question their character, it makes totally no sense.
These are great characters, they try everything, sometimes they find their limit and they make mistakes. Not what we like but something we have to expect and work on.
So there is no doubt about their character or commitment, no. They always try. Sometimes not good enough, yes this is true, but always they try everything. I have seen it and this is why I will never question the character of this group.
On Danny Ward...
To be totally honest I’m too far away to answer this question. I know that Jurgen [Klopp] has three top class goalkeepers in his squad and there is a reason why he made this decision.
What I heard is that Danny was injured as well for a time in the first part of the season and injuries never help if you have, like in this case, such strong competition but I’m too far away to give a serious answer about it.
It will be good to see him tomorrow and it was good to see him when we played in Liverpool as well.
He will always be a very welcome person here in our football club and I will always have great memories if I think to the time we spent together.
On tactics Jurgen Klopp will use...
Everybody can surprise us. Even if I think I know them good enough that there will not be major surprises tomorrow, which I expect.
Not from the individuals and not from the setup which he will use.