David Wagner took charge of his first game as Huddersfield Town Head Coach as he took his side to South Yorkshire to face Sheffield Wednesday.
Wagner made four changes from the team that lost to Leeds before the international break with Tommy Smith, Sean Scannell, Emyr Huws and Mustapha Carayol coming into the side to replace Joe Lolley, Murray Wallace, Philip Billing and Jason Davidson.
Davidson, Jamie Paterson and James Vaughan, all who couldn’t take part in the training sessions leading up to the game in Marbella and at PPG Canalside, didn’t make the squad.
Town fans will have instantly seen a few obvious differences to the side with the two Town full backs pushed far up the pitch and Emyr Huws dropping in between the two centre backs when in possession.
However, Sheffield Wednesday nearly opened the scoring early on as Ross Wallace managed to get a cross in from wide right but Mark Hudson did well to head the ball clear before it reached a dangerous area.
The first clear cut chance of the game fell to Kyle Dempsey, who was playing at left back. He smashed the ball left footed after it ricocheted out to him on the edge of the area following a Town corner but Westwood saved well with his feet.
It was a full blooded derby with both teams playing a high pressing game with first half bookings for Dean Whitehead and Harry Bunn; the latter will now miss the next game against Middlesbrough having collected his fifth yellow card of the season.
The second half began at the same intense pace with Town pressing high giving the opponents no time on the ball.
Town nearly gifted Sheffield Wednesday a goal as a weak back pass from Mark Hudson was intercepted by Fernando Forestieri who was foiled excellently by Joe Murphy; he picked up a knock to his left foot in the process.
In the 53rd minute Town opened the scoring, with the much discussed Gegenpressing in full swing. Town won the ball back high up the pitch and Dempsey cut inside from the edge of the area delivering a delicious in swinging cross which found Sean Scannell in the area; he guided his header into the far corner, giving Town the much deserved one goal advantage.
Sheffield Wednesday nearly made an instant reply as a cross from the wide left came out to Ross Wallace who curled his shot towards the far corner - but Dean Whitehead made a match saving clearance on the line.
Town looked dangerous on the counter attack and were attacking in numbers with real pace and it was nearly rewarded after a neat through ball by Emyr Huws found Mustapha Carayol on the left but his attempted shot was deflected wide.
The flurry of Town chances continued as Huddersfield broke once again and following an excellent cross the ball found Huws in the area who took on his marker and fired his shot straight into the face of Kieran Westwood for a Town corner. That turned out to be a big moment.
The Sheffield Wednesday equaliser came just four minutes later as Forestieri took on Mark Hudson on the left and baring down on goal he curled his shot towards the far post. Following a goal line clearance the ball landed at the feet of Lucas Joao who placed home left footed to give Sheffield Wednesday the equaliser with 78 minutes on the clock.
Sheffield Wednesday took the lead soon after as Forestieri once again got free of his marker and saw his initial shot saved by Joe Murphy, with the follow up converted by Kieran Lee. Town’s failure to control the game in this period proved costly.
With Town pressing for the equaliser Sheffield Wednesday got their third as Forestieri played in Joao and he placed his shot with precision into the far corner from the edge of the area.
Despite the result there were some positives for Town fans to take away and they will be looking to bounce back in the next game against Middlesbrough at the John Smiths Stadium.
Town’s Team (4-2-3-1):
Joe Murphy; Kyle Dempsey, Martin Cranie, Mark Hudson, Tommy Smith; Emyr Huws, Dean Whitehead (Jonathan Hogg 62’); Mustapha Carayol (Murray Wallace 89’), Harry Bunn, Sean Scannell (Joe Lolley 78’); Nahki Wells
Lloyd Allinson, Duane Holmes, Ben Chilwell, Flo Bojaj