‘We can’t make mistakes like these and expect points in Premier League’
DAVID WAGNER bemoaned the “presents” Huddersfield Town gifted Leicester City as his side slumped to the bottom of the Premier League.
The Terriers went ahead through Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen inside four minutes at the King Power Stadium but went on to lose 3-1.
It was Huddersfield’s fourth defeat in half-a-dozen league outings, and life is not about to get any easier with Tottenham Hotspur due at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.
“The players performed to a decent level,” said Wagner, whose side were beaten by goals from Kelechi Iheanacho, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy.
“But we made so many big individual mistakes – and especially before the three goals.
“The first was a poor touch and we conceded a counter from our set play.
“The second we gave away a free-kick in a very dangerous area when we could very easily have cleared the ball and then, for the third one, we produced a missed pass in an area where everyone knows this is not possible against a team like Leicester, because of how they play in behind.
“Jamie Vardy has scored a hundred of these goals, so every single goal we conceded was a present. The opposition didn’t have to invest enough to score against us.
“The players have been in football long enough to know there was something for us in this game. We looked solid for long periods and went in front. We also had clear-cut chances to score when it was still at 1-1.
“We can’t make mistakes like this and expect to get points in the Premier League.”
MATHIAS ‘ZANKA’ JORGENSEN has never taken notice of a league table this early in a season, even when winning the title – and not avoiding relegation – was the target.
So the Danish international can surely be forgiven for not breaking that habit with Huddersfield Town sitting rock bottom of the Premier League with just two points from the opening half-dozen games.
Nevertheless these are worrying times for the Terriers after another defeat that is best described as being self-inflicted.
Leicester City claimed all three points thanks to a trio of finishes that may well feature in the club’s top 10 goals of the season come May.
There was a lightning quick breakaway that ended with Kelechi Iheanacho finding the corner of the net in clinical fashion.
Then came a quite exquisite free-kick from James Maddison that would have tested any goalkeeper, and Jamie Vardy’s dinked finish for the third goal after another swift break was also out of the top drawer.
What remains galling, however, from a Huddersfield perspective is that all three goals came on the back of mistakes that simply do not belong at this level.
Be it Erik Durm getting caught in possession as the last man for the opener or the needless foul by Adama Diakhaby that presented Maddison with the opportunity he took so impressively 20 minutes into the second half, Town were their own worst enemies.
As was the case again for the clincher from Vardy, who was only able to gallop clear after Rajiv Van la Parra had gifted possession to the Foxes on halfway with as lazy a pass as the top flight will see all season.
Add to these basic errors in defence the two spurned chances by Laurent Depoitre and it was no wonder the return trip back up the M1 for the club’s 2,300 or so travelling supporters was peppered by conversations that began with the words ‘if only’.
“The manager is a bit agitated at us right now and he should be,” admitted Jorgensen, who had given Town the lead via his first goal in English football, to The Yorkshire Post.
“He had the right to be frustrat- ed with us and we have to be a little bit frustrated at ourselves, too.
“Looking through the game we had the chances and there was something there for us to take. But we made too many individual errors. That cost the team.
“We have to look through the game and think about what we can all do better.”
The afternoon had started so brightly for Jorgensen and Town.
A long throw by Phillip Billing, something that has become an important part of the Terriers’ attacking armoury this season, could not be cleared by Wilfred Ndidi under intense pressure from Depoitre.
The ball broke in the six-yard area and Jorgensen, who in the summer became the first Huddersfield player to score in a World Cup finals, pounced to beat Danish team-mate Kasper Schmeichel with a first-time shot.
With just four minutes on the clock it was the perfect start for a side that have found goals as hard to come by as points this season.
What Town needed to do was keep things tight and let the home fans’ discontent with Claude Puel allow the atmosphere to sour.
Instead Durm’s reckless dash from his own half and subsequent failure to collect a clearance after a Huddersfield corner had come to nothing allowed Leicester to break in numbers.
Maddison released Vardy and he, in turn, sent Iheanacho clear to drive the ball beyond Jonas Lossl and underline to Durm, on his first league start following a summer move from Borussia Dortmund, just how unforgiving the Premier League can be.
“I have to say sorry for my very big mistake,” said the German. “I feel very upset about that as it cost us the goal.”
Huddersfield lost their way for a time after the equaliser and there could be little doubt Wagner’s men were the happier of the two sides to hear the half-time whistle.
The break did the trick and Town really should have reclaimed the lead just after the hour when van la Parra’s pass sent Depoitre clear.
A first-time shot was needed but the Belgian dithered, allowing sufficient time for England defender Harry Maguire, hardly renowned for his speed, to get back and nick the ball off the striker’s toe.
Such profligacy was punished only three minutes later when Diakhaby’s heavy touch and then foul on Nepalmys Mendy was followed by Maddison curling the resulting free-kick beyond Lossl.
Vardy then wrapped up the points by latching on to Ihea- nacho’s through ball 15 minutes from the end, but there was still time for Depoitre to head straight at Schmeichel when well placed, as if to underline the contrasting quality in each penalty area that had proved to be the difference between the two teams.
“It is not concerning,” added Jorgensen when asked about Town’s lowly league position. “I do not take any notice of the league table at this stage. I didn’t when at Copenhagen when we were fighting for the championship and I don’t do it here when trying to avoid relegation.
“This is the life of the underdog. We might take a different path this year, but I am confident we will get where we want to be come the end of the season.
“The performances in the last three games have been good. That is why we have a positive attitude.
“You maybe can’t see from the results that the performances were good, but we can feel it. Hopefully, our supporters can feel it, too.”
BRIGHT START: Mathias Jorgensen is mobbed after putting Huddersfield ahead, top. Left, Leicester’s Rachid Ghezzal goes past Town’s Rajiv van La Parra. Right, Kelechi Iheanacho is held off by Town defender Terence Kongolo. PICTURES: NIGEL FRENCH/PA