Simon upbeat despite late winner
Huddersfield Town Manager Simon Grayson told htafc.com that he was proud of his players following their 1-0 defeat against Cardiff City.
Town looked set for a well-earned point heading into injury time but were dealt a killer blow when Mark Hudson fired home in the 91st minute.
“It was very cruel,” said Simon about the Bluebirds late winner. “I think the players can look back on their performances with a lot of pride. We are all disappointed at the moment, but if we perform like that for the rest of the season we will do well.
“The players showed the right application and attitude and showed quality when they had the ball. Everything we worked on over the last few days to nullify Cardiff’s attacking threat was implemented brilliant by the players. It shows how the match went with their ‘keeper picking up the Man of the Match award.
“We managed to frustrate them; they resorted to going long to Helguson which we dealt with well, we stopped them getting Peter Whittingham on the ball and I thought Jack Hunt played Craig Bellamy excellently well. We also counter attacked very quickly when we had the ball and created some very good chances – their ‘keeper has made half a dozen good saves. We can be proud of how we played against a team who are one of the favourites for the Division.”
Much was expected from Craig Bellamy on his return to the Cardiff City Stadium, but the Welsh international was played off the park by Town’s young right-back Jack Hunt and Simon reserved special praise for him.
“You have to stop the supply to him and also have a fantastic full-back who can handle playing against a top class player. Jack Hunt tonight matched him for speed and also pushed him back when we were attacking. Also, the other players in front of Jack did brilliantly to stop Bellamy getting the ball in the right places.”
Oliver Norwood impressed for Town on debut and formed one part of Town’s impressive midfield trio.
“You know what you going to get with him because of his background. He is comfortable on the ball, has a great attitude and he complemented the other two midfield players. Keith Southern showed his experience with his drive and tackles and Adam Clayton showed his passing range and calmness on the ball. They have all got good qualities and they stuck together as a unit tonight.”
Jordan Rhodes was missing for Town and Simon explained his decision to leave out the Scottish international.
“Jordan has a hamstring strain,” explained Simon. “He came back from Scotland on the Thursday morning and after travelling down with us he felt that it was tight. He went for an MRI scan in Cardiff this afternoon and it showed that he had a Grade 1 tear, which will only leave him unavailable for five to seven days. It will be 50/50 whether he plays against Nottingham Forest but he should be ok for Burnley. We could have patched him up and thrown him out there but that would have risked him missing three to four weeks. There will be plenty of speculation as to why he didn’t play, but believe me isn’t going anywhere.
“Lee Novak did superb up top and Sean Scannell and Scott Arfield both came into the team and did excellently. Players have to be 100%, there is no point in risking them. Oscar Gobern and Danny Ward both picked up knocks against Preston and failed fitness tests this morning.”