Simon happy with performance and point at Ipswich
Huddersfield Town Manager Simon Grayson is happy with the start his side has made to the Championship campaign after the first away point of the season came at Ipswich Town this afternoon.
“The game was heart-stopping at times,” Simon admitted. “I thought we were quite comfortable in the first half; they were a threat from set-pieces, but we nullified them in certain areas of the pitch.
“We know we can play better than that, both with and without the ball, but we got the goal and went in front. We then had to see out that pressure by keeping the shape of the team and maybe get the second goal, but obviously they scored the goal from the set-piece and that gave them the momentum.
“The players were in and around their first goal and although they had decent delivery and movement, it is something we could have dealt with better.
“Suddenly the crowd got behind them and we went 2-1 down. The lads thought their second goal might have been offside, but it was hard for me to see.
“We showed great spirit and desire to get back into the game and at that point we had a great opportunity to go and win it. Unfortunately that didn’t go in, but we would have been satisfied with a point at the start of the day.”
Simon made a couple of formation switches during the second period and explained the reasons behind them:
“Dixon was a tactical change. Ipswich were putting a lot of balls into the box and (Daryl) Murphy, who is 6’ 2” tall, was attacking Jack Hunt at the back post. I felt that we should have three centre halves on to deal with balls into the box and that would release Jack to get forward. Sometimes those decisions work and sometimes they don’t.
“Joel Lynch went off today with an Achilles problem, so Anthony Gerrard came off for the last half hour. He has been struggling with that for the last couple of weeks and has missed a bit of training this week, so I would think he might be a doubt for the Wales game now.
“Any success we have will come as a squad and the competition for places keeps everyone on the edge of their seat. When they get into the team, they have to do enough to stay in there.”
With five points from the opening four games, Simon is happy with how the squad has acclimatised to a higher division.
“The players are working extremely hard and we have some talent out there. They are enjoying the challenge of the games too; if you look at Ipswich they have some former Premiership players and this is a difficult venue as they are established in the Championship, but we are thriving on it. “I’m pleased with how the whole team has settled into the new season.
“The players will make mistakes, but we have a great group and we will learn from them. I’m delighted with the start that we have made to the Championship campaign so far. I’m pleased with how the whole team has settled into the new season.”
New boy James Vaughan grabbed his first goal for Town today and could have netted another but for Scott Loach’s excellent penalty save.
“James was a handful and that’s why I brought him to the Club. I thought he was outstanding against Burnley last week and again today – along with Lee Novak he looked a threat holding the ball up, running the channels and linking play.
“We’re delighted that ‘Vaughany’ got his goal and along with the missed penalty he probably had two or three other chances.”
The game was a tremendous spectacle for the fans at Portman Road today and Simon explained that he sets his side up to entertain and score goals:
“It was an open game, but that is how we are going to play. I could have set the team up to bore everybody and come away with a 0-0 draw, but I am not like that as a manager. We have a duty to entertain people and even at 2-2 we were going forward, got a penalty and could have won the game. You have to try and win games.”
Grayson also handed deadline day signing Adam Hammill a Town debut this afternoon and is excited by his latest capture:
“I’m delighted to have got Adam and I think people could see what he can do today; he puts defenders on the back foot by running at people and then he has the quality to pick out a pass. He is a versatile player – he can play off the striker as well as on the right and left.
“He knows our lads from the Liverpool area and he will settle here quickly. I’ve worked with the lad at Blackpool before and I know what he is capable of doing, so he needs to play some games now and show that. We have good options, because hopefully Sean Scannell will be available for the Derby game and Danny Ward did ok today too.”