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Championship

Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final: Manager reaction

30 May 2017

After 120 minutes of stalemate, it took penalties to separate Huddersfield Town and Reading in the Play-Off Final with the Terriers the side to clinch shoot-out victory.

Victory for David Wagner’s side sealed promotion the English football’s top tier for the first time in 45 years. 

“I’m so unbelievably happy that this fairytale had a happy ending,” exclaimed the Terriers boss. “Thanks to the chairman, even when he thought my ideas were crazy, he backed me all the way. 

“We said no limits at the start of this season and we found new ways to be competitive. We were told we weren’t experienced enough. Experience is important, but if you have passion, desire and fresh ideas, you can match it.” 

Wagner was full of sympathy for his counterpart Stam, and was well aware of how tough of a task this Reading team was to overcome. 

“There were three other very good teams involved in this year’s Play-Offs,” he added. “They are amazing if you win, but tough if you don’t. 

“Reading are a fantastic team, and very difficult to beat. We had to be at our very best today to get our place in the Premier League.” 

Jaap Stam, who guided his Reading side to a third-placed finish in the Sky Bet Championship, was obviously disappointed with the way the season ended. 

However, he still had plenty of praise for his players, and is determined to go one better with the Royals next term. 

“Its always difficult to lose. We gave it our best shot and did everything in our power to try and win the game. 

“Both teams didn’t want to take risks. You need to play like you do in the league games, but it’s not possible because it’s a totally different occasion. 

“I played in big games that needed penalties and you always had certain players that would have an excuse for not wanting to step up — that didn’t happen here. My players took the responsibility, nobody shirked. 

“Finals are there to be won, and thats what we tried to do - we need to give it another shot next season.”