Belfast Telegraph

Huddersfield boss David Wagner hopes to contain former loan star Izzy Brown

Huddersfield head coach David Wagner hopes Brighton's Izzy Brown does not return to haunt him on Saturday at the John Smith's Stadium.

Brown, 20, played a key role for Huddersfield on loan from Chelsea last season as Wagner's side defied the odds to reach the Premier League and was expected to seal a permanent summer move to the West Yorkshire club.

But the Terriers could not reach agreement with Chelsea over a permanent switch and Brown, who joined Brighton on another season-long loan instead, will now be bidding to inflict a fifth straight defeat on his former club.

"There are no secrets, everybody knows we tried everything to keep Izzy here," Wagner said.

"Unfortunately we were not successful in signing him. The circumstances were not good, it was nobody's fault and we had to accept it.

"Chelsea are the club who had to make the decisions and it's something we respect and accept and now we meet him again.

"Izzy has not had the best start at Brighton, he was injured, but he has started the last couple of games. We hope we can keep him quiet."

Wagner will also get the chance to catch up with Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross, who he coached in Hoffenheim's academy, but is more concerned with halting his own side's recent slump.

The Terriers have slid down to 16th place in the table and since beating Manchester United in October they have scored just twice in six matches.

But a fifth victory at the John Smith's this season would see Town leapfrog Brighton, back in the top flight themselves after automatic promotion and currently two points better off in 12th.

"A must-win game is a final, where you have no chance to correct something and this isn't the case on Saturday," Wagner said.

"But it's a massive game for all of us and a great opportunity in front of our supporters to play Brighton and be in front of them after the game.

"There are so many important stories in this game. This is why it's a big game, but it's not a must-win game because a lot more will follow after this."

Wagner has no new injury concerns following last week's 2-0 defeat at Everton, while winger Rajiv van La Parra sits out the final game of his three-match ban.

Huddersfield will come under increasing pressure if they slip to a fifth straight defeat, but Wagner insists he is comfortable with his side's position in the table.

"If you had offered me 15 points after 15 games and then Brighton at home, I would say 'absolutely'", he added.

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