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WAGNER: WE WERE MISSING OUR IDENTITY

19 October 2016

David unhappy with lack of working and fighting attitude

- David Wagner reviews the 3-1 loss at Preston North End
- Head Coach unhappy with lack of fighting or working attitude
- Wagner now wants a reaction against Derby County

Huddersfield Town Head Coach David Wagner was unhappy that his side failed to show its identity on the pitch during the 3-1 defeat at Preston North End.

The Terriers were second best in the first half and conceded three goals from set pieces inside an hour before Nahki Wells’ late consolation; his fourth in the last three games against the Lilywhites.

“We weren’t nearly at our normal level, especially with our working and fighting attitude in our first line. If you want to be successful against a side like Preston away, you have to be aggressive. We completely missed that,” David admitted to htafc.com.

“At the end, three set pieces decided the game. Credit to Preston, because they delivered them very well and converted them; great headers. We were never really able to come back from 3-0 down.

“I think we’ve (defended set pieces) well in the last 12 games, but today it all came together in one game. Everybody knows the strength that (Paul) Gallagher has great delivery and we were not able to defend the balls into the centre.

“This was one of our weaknesses today, yes, but my bigger problem was that we didn’t bring that fighting and working attitude to the grass. The second half was better, but not in the first.

“I’ve said before that I can lose a football match – that is part of the game – but not because we were missing our identity.”

One of the few positives from the game was the performance of Jack Payne, who made his first start in seven games in the ‘number 10’ slot.

“Jack Payne was good; I thought he was very active. I’ve always been in contact with Jack and he knows how much I like him, but it is always about the right moment.

“In my opinion, Kasey (Palmer) played very well in a tight offensive game against Sheffield Wednesday, but tonight was time to give Jack Payne the starting shirt. He has trained very well and I think Kasey will struggle at the moment to play two games in three days or three days in a week. He still has to catch up a lot in terms of endurance and we need him at his best in the busy Christmas period. We need him to catch up, whilst giving him playing time.

“We will not have any concerns in this position in three days’ time.”

Now David is focused on seeing a reaction from his squad when Derby County visits the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday:

“I haven’t seen this before. Now it has happened, I have to find the right solution for Saturday. This was not OK and not what we’ve done in the best. That is what we have to get back to.

“Shrewsbury away was comparable a few months ago and now we have to show the right reaction on Saturday. That reaction is very easy to show; we have to show the right working and fighting attitude. This is our usual identity on the grass and this is what we have to get back to.

“We will see how everybody looks over the next two days and find the right personnel for Saturday.

“Today has happened and nobody likes it, but I’m sure we can learn from it; that is part of my job. We now have to make sure we show the right reaction on Saturday.”

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