WAG­NER: WIN JUST AROUND THE COR­NER

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John McDougall

HUD­DER­S­FIELD TOWN are in dan­ger of sink­ing with­out a trace but David Wag­ner in­sists the Ter­ri­ers can make emer­gency re­pairs to their pro­mo­tion push.

Kasey Palmer’s header gave the Ter­ri­ers an early lead but Danny Gra­ham lev­elled from the penalty spot to en­sure Rovers sal­vaged a point.

It leaves Hud­der­s­field with­out a win in five games, but Wag­ner be­lieves his side will soon sew up vic­to­ries again if they go on to repli­cate their per­for­mance at Ewood Park.

“We are fo­cused on our­selves and our per­for­mance and we want to make sure that we re­turn to some win­ning form,” he said.

“We will get some wins if we per­form like we did here and in the last few games.

“The win is just around the cor­ner.

“I think if we won this game, we would have spo­ken about one of our best per­for­mances this sea­son. But I still be­lieve it was one of our best per­for­mances.

“This is foot­ball, some­times you don’t get what you de­serve but there are no com­plaints from me about our per­for­mance.”

In a pos­i­tive start from the vis­i­tors, Aaron Mooy’s low cor­ner found Michael He­fele whose pow­er­ful drive was de­flected just wide.

And Hud­der­s­field took the lead mo­ments later when Chris Lowe’s in-swing­ing cor­ner was met by an un­marked Palmer who thumped a header past Ja­son Steele.

Mooy nearly stretched the Ter­ri­ers lead with a dip­ping free­kick on the quar­ter hour which was put over the bar by Steele’s fin­ger­tips.

The Aus­tralian’s de­liv­ery proved a prob­lem for Rovers once more when, mo­ments later, he picked out a lurk­ing He­fele at the back post whose shot de­flected off tar­get.

Soon af­ter­wards, Hud­der­s­field were again inches away from dou­bling their ad­van­tage when an un­marked Martin Cranie headed Lowe’s cor­ner against the cross­bar.

Cranie darted for­ward and into the box on the half hour to tee up Ra­jiv van La Parra, but the for­mer Wolves winger fired straight at Steele.

But an un­der-pres­sure Rovers were handed a life­line when ref­eree Si­mon Hooper pointed to the spot for He­fele’s foul on Sam Gal­lagher and Gra­ham coolly dis­patched the penalty with 34 min­utes gone.

In the sec­ond half, Mooy’s thun­der­ous ef­fort drew a tremen­dous save from Steele and Cranie headed a fine chance wide for the Ter­ri­ers – though Rovers top scorer Gal­lagher went close with a fierce shot in be­tween.

But it was a job well done for Rovers boss Owen Coyle, who is now sit­ting in the hot­seat far more com­fort­ably af­ter watch­ing his side take seven points from their last three games.

“It’s a hard earned point, and it’s a valu­able point as al­ways,” he said. “We’d have loved to have had the nine out of nine, but Brent­ford, New­cas­tle and then Hud­der­s­field are cer­tainly tough fix­tures.

“What we’ve shown is that we are cer­tainly be­com­ing a a far bet­ter team than we were at the out­set of the sea­son.

“That’s a game that we would have lost by two or three goals in the early part, but we’re far bet­ter and we’ve come a long way since then and we con­tinue to move for­ward.

“We’re go­ing in the right di­rec­tion, there’s still a lot of work ahead of us.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

SPOT ON: Danny Gra­ham lev­els for Black­burn from the penalty spot and, inset, Kasey Palmer is mobbed af­ter net­ting the opener

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