David Wagner toasts Huddersfield’s heroes

Huddersfield 0 Reading 0 (Huddersfield win 4-3 on penalties): David Wagner was drenched in champagne as he toasted his Huddersfield heroes following their dramatic Wembley win.

David Wagner toasts Huddersfield’s heroes

The Terriers secured promotion to the Premier League, ending a 45-year absence from the top flight, thanks to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over Reading.

Goalkeeper Danny Ward, who saved two penalties in their semi-final shoot-out win over Sheffield Wednesday, replicated his heroics in the final by keeping out Jordan Obita’s spot-kick.

Defender Christopher Schindler then stepped up to nervelessly tuck away the winning penalty and cap a remarkable rise for a side who finished 19th last season.

And German boss Wagner, still dripping from the bubbly-fuelled celebrations, said: “I told players before the play-offs they were heroes.

“But from hero to zero in football is sometimes only a week, and they had the opportunity to become legends. And they have done it. They are Huddersfield legends.

“We have had so many setbacks, so many problems, we don’t have the biggest squad, but we trusted and believed in ourselves.”

If the penalties were nerve-jangling, the 120 minutes which preceded them were anything but. Town’s Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown somehow missed an open goal from two yards, but other than that the two teams totally cancelled each other out.

Not that Wagner and Huddersfield cared one jot, having secured the estimated £170m (€195) windfall promotion brings. “Of course it is special, everyone knows last time this club was in the top division is 45 years ago,” added the former Borussia Dortmund reserve-team boss.

“I’m so pleased with my players, my group and the whole town, and for the chairman (Dean Hoyle) who backed nearly all my ideas. Now we have done it. We set no limits.”

It was a heartbreaking end to an amazing season for Reading, who were just as unfancied as Huddersfield at the start but ended up finishing third in Jaap Stam’s first year as a manager.

Stam’s success has seen him linked with Premier League clubs, but he insisted he is going nowhere.

“I have a contract and I’m very happy here,” said the Dutchman.

“It’s always hard if you lose but what we achieved this season is great - how we made progress, got in the top six and to the play-off final.

“Of course if you reach the final you give it your best shot, it doesn’t matter how you play, the result is the most important thing.

“The boys have worked very hard. You can talk about taking risks and taking the initiative but this is not just a league game, in the players’ minds there are other things.

“It’s a totally different occasion and it’s difficult to put that aside. We worked our way through it, got to penalties, and then basically it’s a lottery.”


Ward, Smith (Cranie 88), Hefele, Schindler, Lowe, Hogg, Mooy, Kachunga (Quaner 66), Brown (Palmer 98), van La Parra, Wells.

Not Used:

Whitehead, Hudson, Holmes-Dennis, Coleman.


Al Habsi, Tiago Ilori, Moore, van den Berg (Obita 64), Gunter, Evans, Williams, Blackett, Swift (Kelly 100), Kermorgant, Grabban (McCleary 74).

Subs Not Used:

Beerens, Mendes, Popa, Jaakkola.


Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).

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