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Saturday 25 November 2017

Huddersfield's perfect start has surpassed Wagner expectations

Huddersfield 1-0 Newcastle

Huddersfield's Aaron Mooy celebrates his goal
Huddersfield's Aaron Mooy celebrates his goal

David Wagner did not expect Huddersfield to have a 100 per cent record after two Premier League games, even after his experience of achieving the improbable at the John Smith’s Stadium last season.

The Terriers became just the third side in Premier League history to win their first two games following promotion, emulating Bolton in 2001 and Hull last season, as Aaron Mooy’s terrific 50th-minute effort earned them a 1-0 home victory over Newcastle eight days on from their 3-0 triumph at Crystal Palace.

And winning the first top-flight game they had hosted in 45 years provided a continuation of the elation felt around that part of Yorkshire following May’s Wembley play-off final victory.

“I don’t have to pinch myself but I didn’t expect it,” Wagner said of his team’s start.

“But it’s football, if someone knows that in football everything is possible then it’s me and our club after what we’ve seen and felt last season.

“We only wanted to be brave in every single game, to search for our chance, and I think we’ve done it so far. Of course we are over the moon with six points in the two opening games, two clean sheets and I think these points were deserved, it’s what makes it even bigger.”

It was Australian Mooy who decided the contest with a rifled finish from the edge of the box after a one-two with Elias Kachunga.

The 26-year-old had spent last season with Huddersfield on loan from Manchester City and was one of Wagner’s top transfer targets as he made the arrangement permanent this summer.

“He doesn’t really say much, doesn’t smile a lot, he’s very calm but he is for sure very happy and very proud as well, and I think he deserves all the credit for his goal,” Wagner added.

Newcastle are yet to score or pick up a point in their opening two fixtures and this result and performance emphasised why Rafael Benitez is so keen to acquire more signings before the window closes.

“My experience in the Premier League is that you have to take your chances because if you make mistakes you will pay for that,” said the Spaniard.

“It’s maybe because it’s a learning process so we have to learn quickly, maybe it’s too soon for us.” Asked if that process would take longer than people expect, he replied: “Yes, for sure.”

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