VAUGHAN THE TERRIERS HERO
BRISTOL CITY ..1 HUDDERSFIELD 3
MARK Robins claimed James Vaughan and Huddersfield were a marriage made in heaven after the on-loan striker’s hat-trick virtually secured Championship survival at Bristol City.
The Terriers headed into the game still sweating on their safety but Vaughan’s treble left 1,500 travelling fans at Ashton Gate in little doubt that their team would be staying up.
With Peterborough beating Sheffield Wednesday the day ended with Huddersfield in 18th, three points clear of the drop.
And while Robins refused to speculate on the future of the Norwich front-man, he made no secret of his admiration for the player.
Robins said: “James showed how much he cares about our club with the way he celebrated his goals. That isn’t always the case with loan signings.
“He has been good for us and I think we have been good for him.What the future holds I can’t say, but he was terrific here.
“But for a couple of great saves he would have had five. Lee Novak was great alongside him and the team performance was full of determination from the start.
“The support from our fans was magnificent and we now have the opportunity to finish our season with a good home display against Barnsley on Saturday.”
Vaughan’s second minute tap-in from an unselfish pass by Novak set the tone for a convincing Terriers display.
And 11 minutes later Oliver Norwood’s free-kick found Vaughan, who directed his glancing header beyond Tom Heaton from 12 yards.
The treble was completed on 64 minutes when Vaughan headed in a Novak cross and Lewin Nyatanga’s headed injurytime consolation from a Greg Cunningham cross did little to improve the mood of Bristol City head coach Sean O’Driscoll.
He said: “That performance was the worst since I came here and totally unacceptable. “We played without pride and I can assure supporters that won’t happen again.
“We owe them an apology. In our last game at Hull we looked as though we shouldn’t be relegated, but here we showed why we are going down.
“Basically we are not good enough. Home performances since I took over have been consistently encouraging, even when we have been beaten.
“Losses are inevitable at times and it is how you lose that counts.
“We have a lot of work to do during the summer and need to man up.
“I pick the team so responsibility for that performance ultimately rests with me. It hurt to see us play that poorly.”
Vaughan should have completed his hat-trick on 20 minutes when clean through, but Heaton made a fine save to deflect the shot for a corner.
Norwood went close with an early free-kick and from the opening minutes it was just a case of how many Huddersfield would win by.
Bristol were all over the place and roundly booed by their own fans, while the large contingent of travelling Terriers fans were in celebration mood.
For Huddersfield boss Robins, who narrowly missed out when Derek McInnes was appointed Bristol City manager, it was a day to remember.
But O'Driscoll faces a massive job in the close season to turn City’s fortunes around.
CELEBRATION TIME: Huddersfield Town cheer on James Vaughan’s third goal
TUSSLE: Bristol City’s Liam Kelly and Lee Novak battle