Edin Terzic has urged the Claret and Blue Army to inspire West Ham United to victory over Huddersfield Town – upsetting his old friend David Wagner in the process.
Terzic and Wagner were colleagues at Borussia Dortmund between 2011-13, when the Hammers first-team coach worked with the German giants’ U17s and the Terriers boss managed the reserves.
Fast forward a few years and both are working in the Premier League, as is the man who employed both of them at Dortmund’s Hohenbuschei training complex, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
But friendships will go out of the window when West Ham welcome Huddersfield to London Stadium on Monday evening, when Terzic is hopeful the Hammers can record a belated first win of the 2017/18 Premier League season.
“This is our first home game, but you are only as good as your most recent result,” said the German, who has been part of Slaven Bilic’s backroom staff for the past four years. “If you want, you can always kind find excuses.
“Last year it was Europe or the new stadium but the reality is that we are not happy with the way we are performing and there is a lot of work to do.
“We are West Ham UNITED, though – not just West Ham – and we need to stay together. If you saw the atmosphere that the Newcastle fans created the other weekend, then we need something like this, more than ever on Monday night.
“I would just ask the fans to be patient, to help the players. It is not about the gaffer or us, we need to have the best support for the players to help them get back on track. If that happens, we will all be happy.
“The key is discipline – and the extra yard. If we stay positive, if we stay disciplined and if we run that extra yard, then we will be very happy.”
While Terzic, Bilic and the coaching staff have a recipe for success on Monday, the 34-year-old is aware that his former colleague Wagner will also have his newly-promoted team organised and motivated for the challenge facing them in east London.
“You can see a clear philosophy,” Terzic observed. “He brought in players who are very hungry, with a good mentality and energy.
“They usually play a 4-2-3-1 system. They are very compact in defence and great pace up front.
“He’s had a great start and they have taken the energy from last May and that play-off win into this season. The whole stadium at Huddersfield, the city, have been waiting for Premier League football for so long and they are really enjoying it.”
If things go to plan for Terzic, however, his old pal Wagner will not enjoy his visit to London Stadium one bit.
*You can read Evening Standard correspondent Ken Dyer’s full interview with Edin Terzic in Monday’s Official Matchday Programme. Order your copy here.