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Huddersfield appoint BVB II’s Jan Siewert as new head coach

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The trend of German coaches landing some of the biggest managerial gigs in the world shows no signs of letting up anytime soon, as Huddersfield Town announced on Monday that Borussia Dortmund reserves boss Jan Siewert has been appointed first-team head coach.

[ MORE: Arsenal’s head of recruitment leaving club after one year ]

Siewert, who’s 36, replaces David Wagner, another graduate of the Dortmund II post when he was appointed at the age of 44 in November 2015 when Huddersfield were in the Championship. Siewert has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract which runs through the 2020-21 season.

A defensive midfielder during his playing career for lower-division German sides TuS Mayen, SG Bad Breisig and TuS Montabaur, Siewert began coaching with the German under-17 and under-18 national teams and quickly ascended to prominence when he moved to Dortmund, one of the world’s best production lines for young talent.

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Siewert’s maiden first-team voyage will be a tricky one, as he’ll now be asked to rescue Huddersfield from last place in the Premier League table, 10 points adrift of safety with 15 games left to play this season. If he’s unable to do so, the club will almost certainly lean heavily upon him to rebuild before giving promotion and PL survival another go immediately thereafter.

Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle explained the process by which the Terriers came to hire their new boss (MORE QUOTES):

“Let me start by addressing the obvious: ee enjoyed tremendous success under our previous head coach, David Wagner, and we’ve subsequently appointed a new head coach that bears many similarities to him — a young, aspirational German from Borussia Dortmund II.

“However, that does a disservice to Jan, who is his own man. There is much more to this appointment than that.”

“Given David’s success at Huddersfield Town, we knew that it was prudent to look to the future in case an offer came in that he couldn’t refuse. David was fully aware that we were undertaking this work. You must prepare for the future.

“Jan’s name came to our attention in his previous role as assistant manager and under-19 coach at VfL Bochum. We first spoke with him over two years ago and we’ve kept in communication since, watching his progress with interest.

“His reputation in the game is very good. He’s known as a coach who is ambitious, has many qualities and who has strong philosophies. As such, it came as no surprise to us when he moved to one of the world’s biggest clubs, Borussia Dortmund.”

Report: Huddersfield Town looking to BVB (again) for manager

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If your hiring process isn’t broke, don’t fix it?

Huddersfield Town has reportedly requested permission to speak with Borussia Dortmund II boss Jan Siewert, going down the same route they traveled in appointing recently-fired manager David Wagner.

[ MORE: Bundesliga 2nd half preview ]

Bild has gone as far as reporting that Siewert, 36, will join the Terriers for a fee of approximately $400,000.

The 47-year-old Wagner had not managed a first team when Huddersfield hired him from BVB II in 2015. All he did was lead the club into the Championship and then the Premier League before successfully keeping the Terriers in the top flight.

That all changed this season, with Wagner and the club mutually parting ways this week with the Terriers buried in last place and the manager linked to a possible opening at Leicester City.

Siewart was an assistant manager at Bochum before joining BVB II. He’s managed RW Essen in the Regionalliga West, and was an assistant manager for Germany’s U-17 and U-18 sides.

Huddersfield has a murderous run of fixtures left, as points look to be at an absolute premium in erasing an 8-point gap on 17th.

David Wagner out at Huddersfield Town

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David Wagner is out as Huddersfield Town manager.

The German coach has seen his side lose eight of their last nine Premier League games as the Terriers are rock bottom of the table and eight points from safety with 16 games to go.

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His charisma, passion and connection with the fans will be missed as the former U.S. men’s national team striker masterminded Huddersfield’s return to the top-flight for the first time since 1972.

Huddersfield chairman and owner Dean Hoyle confirmed that the club and Wagner had agreed he would depart by mutual consent.

“I’d like to begin by thanking David for all he has achieved at Huddersfield over the last three-and-a-half years,” Hoyle said. “His achievements will rightly put him up there in Town history alongside great names like Herbert Chapman and Mick Buxton. As I had said previously, I had no intention of sacking David this season. Subsequently David – being the great man he is – came to us and made it clear that he needs a break from the rigours of football management.

“We discussed making that change immediately, but he also made it clear that he would give his all for the rest of this season before departing in the summer if we preferred. After a long discussion we all felt that David staying at the Club until the end of the season was best, but we’ve kept discussions open and we all now feel that the time is right to part ways. I know the term mutual consent is often a byword for the manager being sacked in professional football, but this is a truly joint decision. David has genuine love fo Huddersfield rand his foremost concern in our talks has been to establish what is best for the club.”

Wagner, 47, arrived at Huddersfield in November 2015 and transformed a struggling second-tier team to one which finished in the Championship playoffs in the 2016-17 season and then sealed their first-ever promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs in May 2017.

Huddersfield then upset the odds to stay in the Premier League in the 2017-18 season, as Wagner worked wonders on a tiny budget to keep them in the top-flight.

Wagner’s final game in charge proved to be a controversial 0-0 draw at relegation rivals Cardiff City, as the Terriers were awarded a penalty kick in the second half but referee Lee Mason then reversed his decision after consulting his linesman.

The Terriers face Manchester City on Sunday (Watch live, 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) and their former center back and current member of the coaching staff, Mark Hudson, will take charge for that game as Huddersfield look to who can take charge next.

Sam Allardyce is the bookmakers favorite to become the next Huddersfield manager and although he has previous in keeping teams in the Premier League, this is a huge challenge to take on.

Scoring goals has been a massive problem for the Terriers this season, as they’ve won just two of their 22 games so far and are the lowest scorers in the PL with just 13 goals scored.

Still, Wagner’s departure has not been met kindly by plenty of Huddersfield fans who may have believed he was the right man to start preparing them for a promotion push next season as their relegation from the Premier League seems almost inevitable.

Wagner worked miracles to get Huddersfield in the top-flight in the first place and that will never be forgotten in the Yorkshire town.

Huddersfield need an even bigger miracle if they’re going to stay in the Premier League this season.

Wagner slams officials as “clear” penalty kick overturned

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David Wagner was not a happy man after Huddersfield’s 0-0 draw at Cardiff City on Saturday.

The Terriers dominated the game and thought they had been given the opportunity to score from the penalty spot late in the second half after Joe Bennett brought down Florent Hadergjonaj in the box and referee Lee Mason awarded a penalty kick.

However, Mason consulted his linesman and overturned the decision to award Huddersfield a penalty.

That decision could be pivotal in their season as the Terriers remain bottom of the Premier League table, without a win in nine games and eight points from safety.

“There are four people in black and you have to ask them what was going on. I spoke to the linesman during the match and he said ‘the first incident was not a foul and the second I don’t know’ but I don’t know what he means,” Wagner fumed. “It was clearly a penalty, the video footage speaks for itself and we have not got it. It makes no sense to waste my energy for something like this, but it was a big mistake. I really can’t find the words how this can happen. The fourth official had no idea either, he was as surprised as everyone else was. Decisions like this make tables and seasons. We have had so many decisions against us and I don’t know why. The boys left everything on the grass, and only one team deserved something out of the game. One point is not enough, we needed to win.”

Cardiff’s manager Neil Warnock had a slightly different view on the penalty decision…

“I think it is good there was an experienced linesman. There was not enough contact for a penalty and the linesman made him change his mind. If that had won them the game I would’ve been disappointed,” Warnock told BBC’s Match of the Day.

There is no doubt there was contact on Hadergjonaj and although Warnock stated that the Huddersfield player was lucky to not give away a penalty in the first half for catching Junior Hoilett, he knows that Cardiff got away with one here.

You can count on one hand the times when a referee has given a penalty kick then trusted his linesman to overturn the decision, and in this case there really wasn’t that much evidence to suggest it wasn’t a penalty kick. The contact was clear, although no forceful, and Mason was pretty clear with his original decision.

When you are down the bottom like Huddersfield are, these are the kind of things which go against you and the Terriers can feel hard done by as they dominated the game and if either team deserved to win it was them.

Puncheon joins Huddersfield Town on loan

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32-year-old Jason Puncheon has joined Huddersfield Town on loan from Crystal Palace for the remainder of the season, the clubs have announced.

Puncheon will join the 10th club of his career where he will hope to earn more than the eight Premier League minutes he has accumulated with Palace so far this season. Puncheon has been an unused substitute for Crystal Palace 11 times in Premier League play this season, with manager Roy Hodgson instead preferring holding midfielders Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate plus wingers Max Meyer and James McArthur.

Meanwhile, at Huddersfield, David Wagner is struggling with a growing injury list, with midfielders Aaron Mooy, Danny Williams and Abdelhamid Sabiri all sidelined at the moment.

“It is important that our additions in January have the ability to arrive and make an immediate impact in our team, which I’m sure Jason can,” Wagner said to the official club website. “He has played in this division for nearly a decade now and knows what it takes to be successful. As well as being a very good player, he is a great character. He has been the captain of Crystal Palace and is a real leader in the dressing room, which is something we wanted to add too.”

Huddersfield sit bottom of the Premier League with 10 points, four back of 19th-placed Fulham and eight back of safety.