Lolley has Robins licking his lips
POSSESSING longer fingernails than he did 12 months ago, Huddersfield manager Mark Robins enters the summer break in high spirits after powering past Watford – but the Terriers boss says the hard work doesn’t stop here.
Last season his side scraped to safety on the final day but, comfortably mid-table this term, Huddersfield were inspired by full-debutant Joe Lolley and hattrick hero Danny Ward at Vicarage Road.
Watford also endured a fraught final day last season, narrowly missing promotion, and subjected their fans to disappointment once more as they ended the season with four consecutive defeats – not that Robins was too concerned.
Robins said: “We were excellent from start to finish. We controlled it as best we could and overall I’m very, very pleased.
“For his debut Joe Lolley was outstanding. He’s got some work to do physically to get up to speed, because he’s risen eight leagues in 18 months. We want to keep him on that upward curve, but he’s found the transition difficult. He’s shown here how capable he is and he'll get better and better.
“I’ve said for a long time that Danny Ward gets himself into unbelievable positions and doesn’t always deliver the finish. In training he does, so I know he’s got that in him. He’s out of contract, but there’s scope to do something and we’ll be having conversations early next week.
“We won’t get too much of a break. We need to deal with issues, such as out-of-contract players, and the recruitment process gets into full swing over the next few weeks.”
Huddersfield converted their dominance of possession in the first 45 minutes with an incisive move from the second-half kick-off. Lolley, who signed from Kidderminster in January and demonstrated the potential to make a significant impact on next season’s Championship, received Ward’s pass, spun Gabriele Angella three times and squeezed a shot inside Jonathan Bond’s far post.
Roles were reversed for the second and third, when Lolley passed first for Ward to trickle a gentle shot between Bond’s legs, and then fire in off the far post.
Ward later sealed his first career hat-trick by slipping a free-kick inside a surprised Bond's near post, and Troy Deeney bagged a late consolation penalty for the hosts.
Watford head coach Beppe Sannino said:“I’m sorry because we finished the season in front of our supporters in the worst manner possible. This is a bad moment and we have failed.
“I don’t think the players deserve to go on holiday straight after the season.
“We have planned some physical tests and they will continue next week.
“In my career I have never lost four games in a row and I am not in position to make people understand the pain inside me.
“I feel the pain for people who come to watch us and the people who offered me the job.
“I do have a contract next season, but the owners hold the contract.
“I was asked to try and give a ‘spin’ to our season and for the most part we did it, but in the last four games the same mistakes have come back.”
scores HAT-TRICK: Danny Ward