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Huddersfield’s David Wagner looks to fans’ bond for play-off success

Huddersfield’s manager David Wagner

Local knowledge is overrated. Two years ago Carlos Carvalhal and David Wagner were virtually unknown in England but now they are jousting for the right to lead one of the country’s former champions to Wembley and perhaps on to the Premier League. Huddersfield host Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday in the first leg of their Championship playoff semi-final, and it has been a long time since fans of either club have been so excited.

Stefan Johansen’s double caps stunning Fulham win at Huddersfield

Fulham’s Stefan Johansen celebrates after scoring their fourth goal

A scoreline to prompt delight on the banks of the Thames and Tyne alike, perhaps, but it brought dismay in the shadow of the Pennines. “What’s going on?” came a plaintive cry from the Revell Ward Stand, bemusement greeting Fulham’s brilliance as Huddersfield, imperious at home for much of this season, found themselves 4-1 down before the break.

Newcastle pull clear of Brighton as Dwight Gayle seals Huddersfield win

Newcastle United's Daryl Murphy in action with Huddersfield Town's Danny Ward before scoring their second goal

Newcastle were always expected to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, and after 35 games this season they can begin to truly believe. A second successive away win leaves Rafael Benítez’s side 11 points clear of third-placed Huddersfield, who provided a spirited effort and may feel aggrieved at the key decisions in this hard-fought contest.

Manchester City held by Huddersfield on blank day for Sergio Agüero

Huddersfield Town's Rajiv van La Parra in action with Manchester City's Fernandinho

In all probability neither side wanted a replay, though in an open and entertaining game neither team actually did enough to win. Manchester City’s thoughts will already be turning to Monaco in the Champions League, while promotion-chasing Huddersfield’s priorities were made clear by the stadium announcer at half time.

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