Huddersfield are back in the groove as they saw off Norwich City
HUDDERSFIELD Town boss David Wagner dubbed Norwich City one of the best sides in the Championship, despite beating them at Carrow Road and piling more pressure on Canaries manager Alex Neil.
Elias Kachunga was the Terriers’ hero with a double to down the former Premier League side.
The striker gave Huddersfield a fifth-minute lead, only for Jonny Howson to equalise a minute later, but his second, just before the break, proved decisive.
And Wagner, whose side stretched their winning run to three, praised his team’s resilience after bouncing back from five games without a win.
“This was a great week and I'm giving the players tomorrow (Saturday) off !” he said. It’s important they spend time with family around Christmas.
“It was another strong performance from the lads, like we have done in the last week. Even when we lost a few games we still performed well and I think our fighting and working and attitude was great.
“It was only Preston and Fulham, and Burton to be fair, where we performed poorly, but the other games we were unlucky, which is why we maybe have fewer points than we want.
“We scored some good goals and played some good stuff over a long period of the game. We had a little bit of luck, which you need against one of the best teams in the division.
“We are happy and I’m very proud of the boys. We made five changes after we beat Burton, and that rotation policy is what you have to do if your squad isn’t the biggest and you like to play this intense style for the whole season.”
Kachunga opened the scoring in the fifth minute, but Norwich were aggrieved after the 24-yearold appeared to be in an offside position when Tommy Smith crossed for him to head home.
The Canaries were back in the game just a minute later, though, when Robbie Brady’s cross was met by Howson, whose header found its way past Danny Ward.
Nahki Wells almost restored Huddersfield’s advantage after the half-hour mark, but the visitors did not have long to wait for a second as Kachunga poked home after a one-two with Smith.
And the striker missed a chance to complete his hat-trick in the second half, but when Sebastien Bassong’s late header failed to find the Terriers’ net, the game was won.
Norwich have now won just twice in their last ten league fixtures, and Neil knows he cannot dine out on former glories at Carrow Road.
“What I did a year ago doesn’t matter now, results are the be all and end all. There’s always going to be pressure, the Norwich fans demand and deserve that we win more games than we lose,” said the Scot.
“Obviously the result was the most important thing and we didn’t win the game. The disappointing thing was we had a lot of clear-cut chances we didn’t take.
"In the first half we didn’t play particularly well, we didn’t play with intensity and I thought we looked leggy.
“But in the second half it was the opposite, we were in their faces and in control of it, but the opportunities we had didn’t go in the back of the net.
“I’ve seen other teams play against Huddersfield, Preston and Fulham for example, and they’ve hunted and pressed and caused problems.
“But you’ve got to do that with intensity, and in the first half we didn’t.”
AT THE DOUBLE: Huddersfield’s Elias Kachunga celebrates scoring his second goal with teammates KA-CHUNG: The striker scores his first