David Wagner believes Huddersfield Town’s positive memories of Wembley will help them perform against “the best striker in Europe”.
He was referring to Tottenham Hotspur frontman Harry Kane – top scorer in the Premier League – and quickly pointing to the fact he has a string of world-class colleagues.
But Wagner says his squad are lifted by their recent history at Wembley, where they defeated Reading in the Championship Play-off final only last May to win promotion to the top table of English football.
So how good is England hitman Kane, who was left on the bench for Spurs’ midweek FA Cup victory over Rochdale?
“He is the best in Europe at the minute, a fantastic striker,” said Wagner, who is expecting key midfielder Aaron Mooy to be back in training next week after his infected knee.
“Unfortunately he is not in our team, but he is a fantastic striker and this is one of the reasons this Premier League is so exciting, that there are players like him who you come up against and you can test yourself against the best ones.
“But Tottenham is not only him.
“They have another handful of great individuals as well but we will, like always, try our best because we like to test ourselves against the best.”
On the match, Wagner added: “It’s a great occasion, and we only have unbelievably positive memories when we think about Wembley.
“Less than a year ago we had one of the most successful days in the history of our club.
“Now we are back with those positive memories and it’s something that can help us if we prepare properly for the game, and this is what we will do.
“We think it’s great to be back at Wembley in a competitive game, the problem is it’s against Tottenham, one of the best teams in the Premier League or, maybe, in the world at the minute.
“Like always, we will try our best and fight for every single yard and, sometimes, surprises happen in football, so we will work on it.”
Wagner says his players are lifted by their current form and excited for the chance to play at Wembley, especially those who were there last May but also the newcomers as well.
“For our players, it’s not something you usually have every other week or every other month (to play at Wembley) and everyone is excited about it,” he explained.
“It’s also good that we are able to meet them in a positive momentum which we have at the minute, with the last games we played – where we played well, where we scored goals and we were able to pick up points.
“This makes it better for us, but we have to make sure that we perform again, that we show exactly the same desire and passion we have shown in the past,
“We want to try and perform at our best even when we don’t get the result that we want, like against Man United, because we want to keep the momentum and play on a very good level.
“This is our focus on Saturday. We have to make sure we perform on the highest level we can.
“If we get a result it would be great, if not we have to accept it – you have to make sure you are able to deal with defeats in the last 10 games because all of the teams who are fighting for survival will concede defeats, I am totally sure.
“Hopefully this isn’t the case for us on Saturday, and this is why we are focusing only on the performance of ourselves.”