Town’s late show has kept spir­its sky-high, says Quaner

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL - RICKY CHARLESWORTH

WIN­NING is cer­tainly a nice habit to get into, and even bet­ter when a vic­tory is se­cured in the dy­ing em­bers of a game.

So, un­der­stand­ably, the mood in the Hud­der­s­field Town camp is hugely up­beat fol­low­ing Good Fri­day’s last-gasp 3-2 vic­tory at home to Pre­ston North End.

The win kept alive the club’s faint hopes of usurp­ing the long­time oc­cu­pants of the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion slots, Brighton and New­cas­tle.

Third-placed Town are eight points adrift of sec­ond-placed New­cas­tle and 12 be­hind Brighton, but have a game in hand.

With the top two both play­ing be­fore the Ter­ri­ers kick off at Derby this evening, it prom­ises to be an­other piv­otal day in the Cham­pi­onship pro­mo­tion fight.

Collin Quaner, match-win­ner against the Li­ly­whites, says be­lief in the squad is as high as ever head­ing into today’s teatime tus­sle at Pride Park.

Quaner coolly tucked home a ‘96th-minute’ win­ner against North End as he fol­lowed up Aaron Mooy’s saved penalty.

The Jan­uary ac­qui­si­tion be­lieves the late show­ing is yet an­other in­di­ca­tion of the men­tal strength that head coach David Wag­ner’s side pos­sess.

The Ger­man striker, whose win­ning goal was his first in the league for Town, said: “We all be­lieve un­til the very end.

“Some­times wins like the one against Pre­ston are even more im­por­tant and nicer than nor­mal wins.

“There was so much emo­tion and spirit from us and I hope we can now carry that into the Derby game.

“What we did was put in 200 per cent ef­fort and, thank­fully, it paid off.”

Iron­i­cally, the last time Town came up against today’s op­po­nents they also scored a late win­ner

Dur­ing Oc­to­ber’s meet­ing, Elias Kachunga scored a header af­ter ‘93’ min­utes to main­tain Town’s strong start that then, like now, saw them on the coat­tails of the lead­ers.

De­spite a rel­a­tively short turn­around time to today’s game, Wag­ner has no com­plaints about the com­pe­ti­tion’s sched­ul­ing.

He in­sists his cos­mopoli­tan squad, which against Pre­ston fea­tured play­ers from eight dif­fer­ent coun­tries, are used to the rigours and de­mands of the English foot­ball cal­en­dar.

Wag­ner said: “In Ger­many, we call it an ‘English week’ if you have three games in­side a week.

“But we are used to it by now, so we will make sure we are ready as we can be.

“We will see who looks fresh and pick the team ac­cord­ingly.

“There are five games left for us now, and we must fo­cus on our­selves.

“All the fo­cus is on Derby and what a place to go, with a great sta­dium and good at­mos­phere.

“With the ef­fort we showed against Pre­ston, it’s an ex­cit­ing game to go into.”

Wag­ner con­firmed Philip Billing, who limped out of Fri­day’s game, will miss today’s match af­ter sus­tain­ing a groin in­jury.

COLLIN QUANER: Hopes Town can re­peat their hero­ics against Derby County this evening.

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