TOWN STRIVE TO FIND THAT ELU­SIVE WIN­NING FEEL­ING

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Richard Sutcliffe CHIEF FOOT­BALL WRITER Email: richard.sutcliffe@ypn.co.uk Twit­ter: @RSootyYPS­port

HUD­DER­S­FIELD TOWN de­fender Christo­pher Schindler has hailed the “mag­nif­i­cent” job done by David Wag­ner on the third an­niver­sary of his coun­try­man tak­ing charge of the York­shire club.

The Ter­ri­ers, bot­tom of the Premier League, host fel­low strug­glers Fulham tonight look­ing to claim their first win of the sea­son.

With New­cas­tle United beat­ing Watford on Satur­day, vic­tory will not be enough to lift Town out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

But three points against Slav­isa Jokanovic’s Lon­don­ers would un­doubt­edly breathe new life into the cam­paign for the York­shire club and bol­ster hopes of sur­viv­ing among the elite once again.

“The chang­ing room needs this feel­ing of win­ning again,” said Mu­nich-born Schindler, the scorer of the shoot-out penalty at Wem­b­ley in May, 2017 that sent Hud­der­s­field into the Premier League.

“Once you have that feel­ing again then you do not know how things go from there. But, at least the con­fi­dence will grow mas­sively. For our squad, that is the most im­por­tant thing af­ter the run we have had. We need to stop it, get pos­i­tive re­sults and get back on track.”

Town last tasted vic­tory on April 14, Tom Ince net­ting a dra­matic stop­page-time win­ner against Watford that ul­ti­mately kept the club up.

Sur­vival came against all the odds, just as pro­mo­tion had been with Wag­ner hav­ing ar­rived at the John Smith’s Sta­dium on Bon- fire Night 2015 with the Ter­ri­ers sit­ting 18th in the ta­ble.

De­feat to Leeds United a cou­ple of days later with the Ger­man watch­ing from the direc­tors’ box as Mark Lillis took tem­po­rary charge of the team saw Hud­der­s­field slip an­other place.

Two games and two more losses then saw Wag­ner’s men slide into the rel­e­ga­tion zone but soon Town were on an up­wards tra­jec­tory un­der their new man­ager.

“It is al­most un­be­liev­able,” said Schindler, the club’s record sign­ing when he ar­rived from TSV 1860 Mu­nich in a £1.8m deal, about Wag­ner. “When I joined the club he had been here for a while al­ready but what he did for this club is just mag­nif­i­cent.

“I think, you have to look all around the globe to see a story like this about an un­der­dog. Even in the Cham­pi­onship. To get pro­moted, to stay up last year and now ob­vi­ously we are still want­ing to con­tinue writ­ing this story be­cause we are en­joy­ing it so much.

“For the last two years, ev­ery­one has had a lot of praise. We want this to con­tinue and that is why I am re­ally thank­ful and also re­ally happy for him that he had such an im­pact on this club. I think the whole sit­u­a­tion for him is good.

“He has a good rep­u­ta­tion and good re­la­tions with the chair­man and staff mem­bers. We just have to turn things around on the pitch and turn it into a pos­i­tive again.”

Wag­ner, for his part, is keen to fo­cus on the task of beat­ing Fulham rather than his an­niver­sary.

But the 47-year-old does vividly re­call his first meet­ing with chair­man Dean Hoyle to dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of the then Borus­sia Dort­mund re­serve team man­ager suc­ceed­ing Chris Powell.

“It was in a ho­tel in Lon­don,” Wag­ner said. “He had the ques­tion, ‘Is it pos­si­ble my foot­ball club is able to play the style of foot­ball like Dort­mund?’

“I said, ‘Yes, of course it is pos­si­ble if you have an open-minded en­vi­ron­ment with peo­ple who are open-minded. And if you have a lit­tle bit of pa­tience, which ev­ery man­ager asks for, then for sure it is pos­si­ble’.

“There is no se­cret be­hind the style as to how Dort­mund play. It is a ques­tion of how you try to im­ple­ment and trans­port the style of foot­ball to your club. I was com­fort­able enough that I had not a shadow of a doubt that this was pos­si­ble.

“He also said, ‘Lis­ten, we are in rel­e­ga­tion trou­ble and we have to stay up’. This, for sure, was a point of our con­ver­sa­tion. But when we met a sec­ond time, he made it clear that he thought his club had no iden­tity. He said: ‘No­body knows what this club stands for’. He wanted to bring in some­one who had an idea of what an iden­tity can look like, and how to cre­ate and im­ple­ment this iden­tity.”

Last six games: Hud­der­s­field Town LLLDLL, Fulham WLLLLL. Ref­eree: A Tay­lor (Cheshire). Last time: Hud­der­s­field Town 1 Fulham 4; April 2017; Cham­pi­onship.

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