By Dom Brown
To say that David Wagner’s first full season in charge of Huddersfield Town is going well would be the understatement of the year.
The Terriers are third in the Championship table, five points away from an automatic promotion place. And Wagner himself is being linked to top tier clubs in Germany. A terrific start to the season saw “Jurgen Klopp’s best friend” win Championship manager of the month for August.
Wagner praised his side’s start to the season following Huddersfield’s 1-0 victory over Derby, telling the Yorkshire Post: “We are a long-term project. We have won nine from 14 and we have under-performed once.”
While the Terriers stay in the battle for promotion, they have had a shaky run over the past four weeks – one win, a draw and three losses, including a 5-0 drubbing against Fulham. The poor stretch has allowed clubs with bigger budgets and better payed players overtake them.
One such team is Newcastle United, whose manager Rafa Benitez has won manager of the month for October. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss told The Northern Echo: “I’m really pleased. As a manager when you win a trophy it means that your staff, your players, the people who work in the club, they are working very hard.”
Given that Benitez’s side have won all of their games in the previous month, Wagner and his Huddersfield team have been the season’s surprise packages. In many ways they are this season’s Brighton, who last year pushed Middlesbrough all the way last year. After being pipped to automatic promotion, the Seagulls could not secure promotion through the playoffs, but the season was still considered a success.
Wagner’s success has not gone unnoticed. German top division side FC Ingolstadt is reportedly looking to the former coach at Borussia Dortmund to be their next manager, following the sacking of Markus Kauczinski.
According to the Huddersfield Examiner, however, it would be “highly unlikely” that Wagner would switch Yorkshire for Bavaria.
This makes sense as Wagner has moulded his squad for 12 months into promotion contenders, but if he went to Ingolstadt he would be involved in a relegation scrap with players he doesn’t want at the club.