David disappointed with first half display
- David Wagner reviews Brentford defeat
- Head Coach says players didn't trust themselves
- Wagner says loss down to first half performance
Huddersfield Town Head Coach David Wagner was very disappointed with his team’s first half display in today’s 4-2 defeat at Brentford.
The Terriers were three goals down at the interval after the poorest 45 minutes of football under Wagner to date, meaning a much improved second half display had no effect on the result.
“The first half was the worst we have played together. We had no control over the game in the first 45 minutes. We were not able to keep the ball, especially in the centre of the game. We had a first touch and were bad at passing,” David admitted to htafc.com.
“The pressure got higher and higher from the opponent as they scored very early and our self-confidence wasn’t the best. We had a lot of problems in the first half, but the biggest was that we didn’t trust in ourselves and our game enough.”
Town scored two goals in the second half through Joe Lolley and sub Kyle Dempsey after a better display, which was the target Wagner set the players during the interval:
“The only thing I asked of my squad at half time was to show character. The second half had nothing to do with the first and we needed to show we were able to bring our game to the pitch.
“The first half was over – we couldn’t change that – but we were able to change the second, and that is what the squad did. The opponent also had a couple of chances in the second half, but I think we could have scored two or three goals more in the second half; no problem, as we had very good chances.
“In the end though, we lost this game because of the very bad first half. I was pleased with the reaction in the second half, but the first was not good enough.”
Lolley’s goal came after 31 seconds of the half to make it 3-1, but any feint hope of a comeback were halted by a 54th minute penalty given against Ben Chilwell. Town’s supporters felt that decision was harsh, but Wagner repeated that the blame for the result could only land at his squad’s feet.
“I am too far away to recognise if it was a penalty or not, although everyone was surprised.
“To be honest though, the first half wasn’t good enough to allow us to get some points today.
“I knew this could be an interesting game and it was, but I didn’t get the performance I expected from our team.
“In the end, if two teams like this play a game against each other it is the team that is more aggressive that is able to win. In the first half this was not my team. Before the game, we knew exactly what we had to do to be successful in this game against a similar style opponent, but we were not able to bring it on the pitch in the first half.
“I didn’t expect this and I am disappointed. It is the first time I have seen our team play like this. We have to trust ourselves; that is what the game showed us today.”
With a myriad of injuries to central midfield players, Martin Cranie lined up alongside Duane Holmes at Griffin Park – but Wagner explained that all areas of his side didn’t function in the opening 45.
“Everybody knows we have a problem in the midfield position at the moment as we’ve lost Dean Whitehead and Emyr Huws, as well as ‘Hoggy’ (Jonathan Hogg) and Phil Billing. We tried to find a solution.
“However, we were also unable to close the wings or to pressure them with our offensive players in the way we have in the past.
“I am not the man who likes to pick out one or two players and give them the responsibility for what happened in the first half. We didn’t see the best game from anyone.
“Why we had so many problems is a good question. A better question is why we were able to do it in the second half. This is what we have to think about. A big point is that the squad has to trust in itself and believe that they have the quality to bring our game on the pitch. In the first half, this wasn’t the squad I have seen in the past.”
One plus point were the second half performances of substitutes Nahki Wells and Kyle Dempsey, with the latter notching his first goal for the Club late on.
David concluded: “For the third game in a row, we were able to give our game something positive from the bench. This is part of our plan, but it isn’t in the plan to be 3-0 down at half-time before we bring the subs on the field. We have to make sure the game is open when this happens, otherwise we cannot change the game.
“Nahki got an assist and had two really good chances he missed. Kyle was similar and he scored his first Huddersfield goal.”