MILLWALL HIT BY CHRIS CURVEBALL
Ollie: We were not expecting his tactics
HUDDERSFIELD boss Chris Powell modestly laughed off Ian Holloway’s claims of a tactical masterclass after a Nahki Wells double gave the Terriers victory over Millwall.
Millwall boss Holloway admitted his side were surprised by Powell’s decision to play 3-5-2.
“Chris threw us a bit of a curveball by playing three at the back,” he said.
“We hadn’t prepared to play against them like that.We thought it’d be 4-3-3, even with the teamsheet that came out.
“I got them in at half-time and couldn’t wait to say what I said, but then we got worse after that.”
Powell responded: “It wasn’t done with Millwall in mind. It was more for our group of players.
“You want to get the best out of them, and especially because we hadn’t won.
“I just thought it lent itself to playing that way.
“I thought it was a slow burner as a performance but, although they scored, we looked a bit more secure.
“It’s nice of Ian to say that we’ve flummoxed him – it’s not deliberate, but I’ll take it!”
Neither side was likely to settle for a draw in a game between two sides who, between them, had won just one of 13 games in all competitions.
Sure enough, Wells’ double swung it for Huddersfield, who picked up their first home win in six months, much to Powell’s delight.
“It’s a long time coming, not for me, but more for our fans and for the football club, that we’ve finally won at home,” he added.
“When you come to a new club, you just want to get a positive result and, especially after last week, there was a lot of soulsearching with the players.”
The game was characterised by a packed midfield, with both sides putting five men into the middle third, leading to a paucity of chances.
It always seemed the result could go either way – and that it would take either a moment of genius or some woeful defending to decide it.
Wells provided the former, to liven up what had been a horri- bly tepid first half on 37 minutes, meeting Harry Bunn’s flick with a wonderful left-footed half-volley.
Millwall issued a response just three minutes later.
This time, it was error rather than inspiration, with Huddersfield allowing Ed Upson to go unmarked in the penalty box.
Upson had even fired a warning shot ten minutes earlier, hitting the bar with a curling effort.
And he was successful when he tried the trick again from Scott McDonald’s cleverly dinked cross.
Another blunder followed 12 minutes into the second half as Nicky Bailey – who had been huffing and puffing all game – was turned by Harry Bunn on the edge of the box and responded by felling the Huddersfield striker.
After furious Bailey narrowly avoided arguing himself into a second yellow card, Wells converted the resulting spot kick – right-footed this time – into David Forde’s bottom right corner.
This time, the Lions were unable to hit back, with only a Mark Beevers volley testing the Huddersfield keeper 20 minutes from time.
Holloway expressed his frustrations.
“I was disappointed in the overall game,” he said.
“That’s as poor as I’ve seen us and we didn’t look like the same players.
“It’s really difficult for me to talk about this because it didn’t look like my team.
“The players have been playing so well for however many months, but they couldn’t pass it and made the wrong decisions all day.
“The more I say about that the worse I’m going to get and the more annoyed I’m going to get.”
FINGER OF FATE: Nahki Wells celebrates his first goal for Huddersfield
ONE FOR THE ALBUM: Nahki Wells scores his second from the penalty spot