Jonathan Hogg: This Huddersfield side are better equipped for the Premier League
Huddersfield captain Jonathan Hogg believes the club are better equipped for the Premier League than they were under former boss David Wagner.
The Terriers crashed out of the top flight after two seasons in 2019 and can come back with a win against Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final on Sunday.
Hogg, 33, the only remaining player from Wagner’s Class of 2017, said: “As a team, I think we’re better equipped, but we have to get there first.
“Maybe as individuals we don’t have the quality of (Aaron) Mooy and (Philip) Billing and people like that, but this unit that we have is special. Few teams have this That we have.
Wagner left Huddersfield midway through his second season in the top flight in January 2019 when he was at rock bottom, 10 points from safety with 15 games remaining.
His successor, fellow German Jan Siewert, could not stop the slide as the Terriers became only the second Premier League team after Derby to be relegated before the end of March.
Two Championship relegation battles followed and Town were among the favorites to move up to Ligue 1 at the start of this season, but current boss Carlos Corberan has overseen a stunning transformation.
Hogg, known as ‘The General’ to players and Town fans, said: “A lot of people ask me, is it the same as when you came up with Wagner, is- what the group is the same?
“I think there are a lot of similarities, but there are also a lot of differences – the style of play, the players, the staff, stuff like that.
“Recruitment has been excellent. We have players who want to work hard, fight for each other, work together.
“It’s this unity that we didn’t have, we missed it. The guys who came in turned the tide.
Hogg is preparing for his third Championship play-off final after losing with Watford to Crystal Palace in 2013 before Huddersfield’s victory on penalties against Reading four years later.
“With this group, I think it would mean more because we worked so hard from where we were last year to get to where we are today,” he said. “I think it’s just amazing.
“Credit to the club because they knew we were in a bad position when we got relegated. The squad wasn’t good enough. The camaraderie we had in the dressing room wasn’t good enough.
Forest are hoping to end their 23-year Premier League exile and Hogg believes it could be a heavy burden for Steve Cooper’s players.
Hogg added: “I think there’s a lot more pressure on them. We were in the Premier League three years ago.
“They’re such a big club and haven’t been there long, so they’re going to be desperate.
“We all want to be there. I know what it is. I tasted it with this club and it is special for everyone.
“Not just the players. The staff, everyone involved, arriving in the Premier League is magical.”