Wells backs Huddersfield to finish job
Nahki Wells has backed Huddersfield Town to win promotion to the Premier League as they prepare to face Reading in the Sky Bet Championship final at Wembley Stadium.
Wells delivered a typically live-wire performance against Sheffield Wednesday two days ago, scoring his side’s third penalty in their 4-3 shoot-out win after the game finished 1-1 after extra time.
The Bermudian, who clinched promotion to League One at former club Bradford City in 2013, netting in a 3-0 victory over Northampton Town at Wembley, said Huddersfield fancied their chances against Reading.
“I’m not going to take anything away from how tough of a task it will be to go to Wembley and win,” Wells told Sky Sports. “Reading are still on a high, but we fancy ourselves.
“We knew today was going to be tough, we knew the onslaught was going to be massive from them because they are at home but, over the two legs, we edged it. We created a few more chances, but most importantly we are going to Wembley.”
Steven Fletcher had converted a cross from Barry Bannan to head Wednesday into a 51st-minute lead but the visiting side drew level 12 minutes later when a cross by substitute Collin Quaner was turned into his own net by Tom Lees.
Wells celebrated as though he had scored after both he and defender Lees slid for the loose ball.
Danny Ward, the Huddersfield goalkeeper, saved penalties from Sam Hutchinson and then crucially from Fernando Forestieri to send his side through to the final, dubbed the richest game in football — worth up to Ł200 million to the winners.
“I think it’s just desserts tonight,” said Ward, on loan from Liverpool. “It’s a hard place to come anyway. I’m over the moon. I was quite confident anyway when it comes to penalties.”
Ward was suspended for the first leg, with 21-year-old Joel Coleman taking his place in the 0-0 draw at the John Smith’s Stadium last weekend.
“Obviously I was disappointed to miss the first leg but Joel was brilliant,” Ward added. “He showed great professionalism for such a young lad.
“It might have been a bitter pill to swallow not being in the team, but us goalkeepers are a strange bunch.
“We train together every day, he’s a top boy, so whoever is between the sticks it doesn’t matter — we back each other to the hilt.”
Huddersfield head coach David Wagner was proud of his players’ efforts.
“We were able to manage both legs,” said Wagner, whose side meet Reading on May 29.
“At the end, if you play two games and you have to go to the penalty shoot-out, it says how tight and even the games were.
“I am so proud and happy for our football club. They can celebrate tonight. Huddersfield Town will be at Wembley.
“Huddersfield Town is one game away from the Premier League. Even if I speak about it, it sounds ridiculous, but it is true.”