HUDDERSFIELD, England -- Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner has admitted he cannot turn to close friend Jurgen Klopp to help his team overcome Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Wagner has guided the Championship outfit to third place in their bid to win promotion to the Premier League this season, less than 18 months after taking charge at the John Smith's Stadium following his departure from a coaching role at Borussia Dortmund.
The 45-year-old worked alongside Klopp at Dortmund for four years, forging a close bond with the Liverpool manager.
But despite Klopp's team recording a 1-0 victory over City at Anfield in December, Wagner insists it would be pointless asking him for advice on how to beat Guardiola's men.
"Of course we have spoken," Wagner said. "But there is nothing he can do or say to help us. What did he say? Good luck!
"The problem is that he is Klopp and the manager of Liverpool. I am not sure that what works for him and Liverpool will work for Huddersfield against Manchester City.
"There is no doubt that we are underdogs, but this is football. When Huddersfield play Man City, is it realistic to win? No, it is totally unrealistic.
"But is it possible? Yes, it is totally realistic because it is football and nobody knows the result before the game.
"So we will play with total freedom because it is a different competition to the Championship. We are not totally blind, we can play football as well and the players are brave enough to play football as they can."
Wagner's promotion-chasers face fourth-placed Reading in the Championship on Tuesday -- the same night that City face Monaco in the Champions League round of 16. And he admits that, despite the headlines that Huddersfield would generate by pulling off a cup upset against City, he will stick to his policy of rotating his squad and resting players for the visit of Guardiola's team.
"We didn't rest players only in the cup," Wagner said. "It was the beginning of December when we started our rotation. We don't have the biggest squad or budget, so to keep everybody healthy, we have rotated for 10-12 weeks.
"There are some players who deserve to be involved because they brought us to the fifth round, but on the other hand, we want to, and will do, what we can against a giant, one of the best teams in England and Europe, to be successful and to win."