Chris reviews the 2-2 draw with Norwich City
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell was keen to stay positive despite victory being snatched away from his side at the death against Norwich City this evening.
It looked like James Vaughan’s 95th minute goal had secured three points for the Terriers, but amazingly substitute Jamar Loza smashed home with the last kick of the game three minutes later to gain a share of the spoils for the Canaries.
“The result is never in the bag until the referee blows, but having scored so late into injury time I’m sure everyone of a blue and white persuasion in the ground thought it was. I’m now standing here with one point from a game where we definitely should have had three,” Chris told htafc.com.
“We played ever-so-well and competed against a good team. My squad was hit by injuries before the game and we had a couple of cases of cramp tonight, but the players fought manfully. We also played at times, but we had to dig deep.
“Tonight was another building block for us following Saturday’s performance. I thought we looked a bit nervous at the start and maybe their disallowed goal galvanised the group, because after that there was some good football played.”
Before Ishmael Miller gave Town the lead, the side survived a big scare when Bradley Johnson had a goal belatedly ruled out for handball.
Chris explained: “I looked at the reaction of the players. If he’d headed it in our players would simply turn away, but Alex Smithies led the reaction and I’m glad he did. I don’t think the referee saw it, but fair play to the assistant as she did from that side. Officials should get plaudits when they are due. I’ve seen it since and it should have been disallowed.”
After Vaughan scored Town’s second, he removed his shirt to celebrate – and was shown a second yellow card in the process.
“The first yellow was a foul – a clever one for the team,” Chris admitted.
“The second yellow was pure emotion. We all think that rule doesn’t seem right, as everyone gets emotional when their team scores a goal. I don’t attach any blame to James, because he thought it was the winner against his old side. It’s a shame that he came off, but I’m not sure it made any difference to the outcome.”
As for the late, late equaliser, Powell had a few qualms about it:
“I didn’t think Jacob Butterfield committed a foul in the first place and I wanted to get a sub on, which we were never allowed to do. I also thought time was up!
“You know they will get the ball in the box and when we had a chance to clear it out of the ground, we kept it on the pitch. It’s easy for me to say that afterwards though; you just hope the player puts his boot through it when he’s on edge.
“It was a miss-hit shot that fell for Loza, which sums up what has happened to us this season. We’ve been so close but yet so far this season and sadly it wasn’t to be.
“I’m remaining upbeat, as the players and our fans should as well.”
With Vaughan suspended and Ishmael Miller substituted with cramp, Powell will now assess his forward options ahead of Saturday’s game at home to Fulham.
“I’m happy to see Ishmael and James score as it’s always good to see your strikers getting goals. We created some good chances and Vaughany might think he should have had two or three.
“I have three good goal scorers and I want them out on the pitch as much as I can. We’ll be missing Vaughany on Saturday, but hopefully Nahki will be able to play.
“Nahki has been training, so we’ll have to wait and see whether he’s fit enough to be considered. Obviously I hope he is, because he would make a major difference.
“Jake Charles was on the bench tonight. It’s very early in his fledgling career, but he’s got something. At one point towards the end I was going to throw him on. He’s a kid and we can’t get carried away yet; we have to let him develop without any pressure.”
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