Just 18 months after taking over as coach at a struggling Championship team tipped for relegation, the German led the Terriers to a Wembley penalty-shootout playoff victory over Reading on Monday night
Wagner explains: “We tried a lot of things, a lot of small details to bring this club forward. You usually need three or four years to do what we’ve done.”
Wagner, who was part of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s coaching staff at Borussia Dortmund before making the switch to Huddersfield, took over in November 2015 as the first manager of the club to be born outside the British Isles, following the dismissal of Chris Powell.
The German managed to keep Huddersfield in the Championship – but only just as they finished 19th in the table – and not surprisingly many experts predicted relegation this season.
Without a large budget but with plenty of tactical innovation, Wagner’s Gegenpressen (or counter-pressing) style made famous by Klopp has helped guide the Huddersfield to an unlikely promotion.
Wagner adds: “I said to the players before the playoffs that they are heroes – because of finishing fifth in the league and playing an unbelievable season.
“But from being hero to zero in football is sometimes only a week. So I told them here they had an opportunity to become legends – and they have done it. They are now legends for sure.
“This is not a fluke. This has been deserved and they are legends.”