Most of Liverpool’s players are finished for the season, but goalkeeper Danny Ward has one game left as Huddersfield prepare to take on Reading today at Wembley in the Championship playoff final. And he isn’t Huddersfield’s only link to Liverpool, with manager David Wagner best friends with Jürgen Klopp.
“We haven’t spoken about Wembley because he wasn’t successful there,” joked the Huddersfield boss. “I know he’s supporting us for the final. And even as a German, I know how big Wembley is. It’s probably the most traditional, biggest, greatest stadium where you can be involved as a manager.”
Huddersfield finished four points back of Reading in the regular season and beat Sheffield Wednesday over two legs to get to the finals, and Wagner is pointing to his side’s relatively slight budget to show just what kind of an achievement that is—given their budget has them closer to the Championship relegation places.
If they can make it to the Premier League, it will be quite a feat. It will also mean that they will, by a massive margin, be the weakest side financially in England’s top flight. And that could mean a few more opportunities for Liverpool players like Ward to play at Huddersfield under Wagner next season.
“We’re 18th or 19th in the budget table,” Wagner noted. “I think the gap between us and, let’s say Newcastle, is bigger than the gap between Leicester and Chelsea, if you like to compare these two fairy tales. We are a small dog, and this hasn’t changed over the season, but we are ambitious.
“Just because you’re a small dog, it doesn’t mean you’re not able to be quick, to have endurance, to be mobile, to create other weapons. I think we’ve found our weapons over the season, and now we have a job to do. It’s great to be involved, but if you are in a final, you’d like to win it.”