David Wagner: Wild Sweden trip galvanised Huddersfield
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 09/09/16 7:59pm
David Wagner has revealed taking his Huddersfield Town team out of their comfort zone on a wild living experience during pre-season helped them deal with the challenges of the Championship.
Wagner was named Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for August on Friday after guiding his side to the top of the table with four wins and a draw from their opening five league fixtures.
The Terriers boss made 13 signings in the summer and decided the best way to bed in his new players was by spending a few days getting back to nature on a small island off the coast of Sweden.
"The idea was if we're able to bring our new signings in early, we have to use this advantage and to bind them together very quickly," explained the former Borussia Dortmund reserve team manager.
"So we went to Sweden without kicking the ball on the first day of the pre-season for three nights really in the wildness without electricity, without toilet.
"It wasn't nice to be fair, sleeping in two-man tents, a whole day in a canoe, camping on an island that isn't bigger than half a football pitch, no mobile phone, no electricity, nothing. And this bound us together because you have to speak with each other if you've got nothing else to do.
"Food, there was not as much food as you normally get, so we left the comfort zone for three nights, so I think if you like to challenge as Huddersfield Town in this tough Championship, you have to leave your comfort zone.
"I don't think the boys enjoyed it but now after 10 weeks they know why we did this and I think it helped us massively.
"The better you know your mate, the more you are likely to invest for him - so that was the idea and it was great that our chairman backed this idea when I first explained it to him. Maybe he thought "he's totally crazy", but he backed it and we did it."