Manchester City-Huddersfield Town Preview
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Huddersfield Town's lengthy losing streak has ended. So too has manager David Wagner's time with the club.
The Terriers, meanwhile, won't have it easy whilst beginning the post-Wagner era Sunday against surging Manchester City at John Smith's Stadium.
Despite reports that the club brass was supportive of Wagner during this tumultuous season in which Huddersfield (2-5-15) sit last in the Premier League on just 11 points, the reality was that Wagner's days with the club were numbered. On Monday, the German departed by mutual consent following talks with the Huddersfield board of directors.
Wagner, who took over the team in November 2015, guided the Terriers to the top-flight in 2017 for the first time since 1972. Perhaps more impressive was that Huddersfield avoided relegation whilst going 9-10-19 for a 16th-place finish last season.
"Under David's management, we took this club to the highest position in almost 50 years and created memories that will last forever," Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle said in a statement.
However, the Terriers have managed just two wins in 24 games over all competitions in 2018-19. Though they snapped a nine-game overall slide with last weekend's scoreless draw against Cardiff City, there have not been any real signs of improvement. The club has recorded 13 goals over all competitions and lost in both the League and FA Cups to lower-tier opponents.
"As I had said previously, I had no intention of sacking David in-season. Subsequently, David - being the great man he is - came to us and made it clear that he needs a break from the rigours of football management," Hoyle told the club's official website. "After a long discussion, we all felt that David staying at the club until the end of the season was best, but we've kept discussions open and we all now feel that the time is right to part ways.
Wagner, who went 51-33-70 at Huddersfield, said on the team's site this week: "I'm sad to be leaving, but I'm immensely proud of what we achieved at Huddersfield Town. This club is now in my heart, and ultimately, I want what is best for its future."
The Terriers also announced this week that sporting director Olaf Rebbe has left the club by mutual consent.
Whilst the team searches for a full-time manager, as reports out of both England and Germany suggest Borussia Dortmund pipeliner Jan Siewert is being linked to the position, under-23 coach Mark Hudson is expected to guide the first team against Man City (17-2-3).
That will be a daunting task for any opponent, especially for a new man in charge, and Huddersfield themselves after being trounced 6-1 by the Citizens at the Etihad on Aug. 19. Sergio Aguero had three goals in that contest for City, who have won five straight over all competitions and have outscored their last three opponents 19-0.
Aguero was a late sub Monday for Gabriel Jesus, who scored twice in City's 3-0 home victory over Wolverhampton. Jesus, who also scored against Huddersfield earlier this season, has seven goals in his last three matches over all competitions.
"That's a credit to him," teammate Kyle Walker told Man City's official website regarding Jesus' recent play. "He's young and still learning, and probably isn't getting as many games as he wants. But he's got a top player in front of him in Sergio.
"Full credit to (Jesus), though, because when he gets chances, he makes it difficult for the manager to not pick him."
Updated January 18, 2019