Ev­ery­thing is there apart from the win, says de­fi­ant Hud­der­s­field boss Wag­ner

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD SUT­CLIFFE

MAN­AGER David Wag­ner in­sists a first win of the sea­son is im­mi­nent for Hud­der­s­field Town af­ter hail­ing his side’s men­tal strength.

The Ter­ri­ers moved above Cardiff City and New­cas­tle United to 18th in the ta­ble cour­tesy of a 1-1 draw at Burn­ley.

“It is not easy to stay men­tally strong,” said Wag­ner, whose side have claimed just three draws and scored four goals in the open­ing eight league out­ings. “Points help you, but what I will say is this group is men­tally very strong.

“They have per­formed with brav­ery and con­fi­dence in re­cent weeks. We have not got the re­sults we maybe de­served, in­clud­ing against Tot­ten­ham.

“But ev­ery­thing is there apart from the win. We want that as soon as pos­si­ble, but this is a per­for­mance to build on.

“It is the same with goals. Both Steve (Mounie) and Lau­rent (De­poitre) play on a very high level with­out the luck you need as a striker.

“Like the wins, this will come if they keep work­ing like they have done in the past. One will come to the other, this is the na­ture of foot­ball.”

Town’s im­pres­sive dis­play at Turf Moor was marred by Lau­rent De­poitre’s bla­tant dive to try to win a penalty in the se­cond half.

Fol­low­ing on from Ra­jiv van la Parra at­tempt­ing to do the same in the cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture last sea­son, to also be booked, Clarets man­ager Sean Dy­che was in­censed.

“That is em­bar­rass­ing,” he said. “We are not talk­ing games­man­ship or clev­er­ness or some­one clip­ping you and then they go down. We are talk­ing bla­tant dives and it was cringe­wor­thy.”




SPORT­ING a deep cut un­der his right eye and with a dol­lop of glue hold­ing his blood­ied nose to­gether, Christo­pher Schindler knew a painful few days lay ahead as he left Turf Moor.

The Hud­der­s­field Town de­fender, fresh from scor­ing his maiden Premier League goal, came off dis­tinctly se­cond-best to a fly­ing el­bow from Burn­ley striker Sam Vokes.

And just mo­ments later a clearly dazed Schindler, claret al­ready gush­ing from his nose at the home of the Clarets, threw him­self in front of Ash­ley West­wood’s shot and was re­warded with the ball smack­ing him full in the face.

Five min­utes of treat­ment fol­lowed on the pitch amid a re­spect­ful hush from the 20,533 crowd be­fore the Ger­man got un­steadily to his feet and then, to the amaze­ment of ev­ery­one, pro­ceeded to play on.

If any mo­ment en­cap­su­lated the de­sire and war­rior-like spirit that has taken Hud­der­s­field to un­ex­pected heights un­der man­ager David Wag­ner then this was it.

“My nose was not the pret­ti­est be­fore this,” said the Ger­man, part-winc­ing and part smil­ing. “Maybe now it is back in shape. But it feels fine.

“I don’t want to say that he (Vokes) did it on pur­pose. Burn­ley are a phys­i­cal team, strong guys.

“To free them up a lit­tle bit, they use their arms. Un­for­tu­nately, my nose was in the way. He apol­o­gised to me.

“The main thing now is whether the glue sticks and it does not start bleed­ing again. There will be no need to see doc­tors if that stays the case.”

Schindler’s in­sis­tence on play­ing through the pain bar­rier dur­ing the fi­nal quar­ter brought to mind the chart-top­ping hit Tubthump­ing by Burn­ley band Chum­bawamba.

“I get knocked down,” sang lead singer Dun­stan Bruce on the in­fec­tiously catchy 1997 tune, “but I get up again, you are never gonna keep me down.”

Such a sto­ical at­ti­tude will be piv­otal if Hud­der­s­field, still win­less af­ter eight games this sea­son, are to con­found those who have al­ready writ­ten off their chances of avoid­ing the drop.

As will be­ing more clin­i­cal in front of goal, a reg­u­lar fail- ing since pro­mo­tion was won at Wem­b­ley via a shoot-out penalty from Schindler.

Hud­der­s­field had dom­i­nated against a Burn­ley side chas­ing a third straight win. They had more pos­ses­sion, more at­tempts on goal and more cor­ners than their hosts, but still came away with just a point.

Schindler’s 65th-minute equaliser was a won­der­fully ex­e­cuted flicked header that gave former Eng­land goal­keeper Joe Hart no chance.

But on an af­ter­noon when the Ter­ri­ers fash­ioned no fewer than 19 ef­forts on goal that header was one of just two that found their tar­get.

Aaron Mooy was be­hind the other ef­fort to test Hart, the Aus­tralian’s rasp­ing shot shortly be­fore the hour mark bring­ing a smart save low to his right from a goal­keeper who has re­dis­cov­ered his best form since mov­ing to Turf Moor.

Oth­er­wise, though, Hud­der­s­field were un­able to cap­i­talise on a string of promis­ing sit­u­a­tions against an un­usu­ally out-of-sorts Burn­ley.

James Tarkowski played a part in that. The Eng­land in­ter­na­tional was out­stand­ing in the Clarets’ back­line, Lau­rent De­poitre twice hav­ing cause to be­moan the de­fender’s un­canny knack of be­ing in the right place at the right time.

The first on 14 min­utes saw Tarkowski block De­poitre’s shot af­ter Alex Pritchard had clev­erly dis­pos­sessed Ben Mee and found the Town striker.

Then, af­ter Vokes had given Burn­ley the lead against the run of play with a 19th-minute header firmly planted past Jonas Lossl, De­poitre was again de­nied by the thinnest of touches from Tarkowski that meant the Bel­gian shinned rather than struck his shot.

Oth­ers in blue and white guilty of profli­gacy in the first half in­cluded Philip Billing, who twice squan­dered good open­ings, and Jonathan Hogg. The ever-frus­trat­ing Ra­jiv van la Parra also failed to marry neat ap­proach play with even a half-de­cent fin­ish.

Town’s in­abil­ity to turn pres­sure into goals con­tin­ued af­ter the break and Vokes al­most made the visi­tors pay on the hour with an at­tempted flick to a Jo­hann Berg Gud­munds­son shot that Lossl did well to hold.

Five min­utes later Schindler made amends for be­ing beaten in the air by Vokes for the opener to draw Town level from an invit­ing cross from Chris Lowe.

“It was an im­por­tant goal for me per­son­ally be­cause it was my first in the Premier League,” he said. “But also an im­por­tant goal for the team.

“The whole team played an un­be­liev­able 90 min­utes. We went 1-0 down, but still kept on play­ing. This was one of the best per­for­mances I have seen from this team.”

Schindler’s af­ter­noon may have ended in pain, but his equaliser at least eased some of the suf- fer­ing felt by the 165 Town fans who had walked the 26 miles to Burn­ley in hon­our of the late Ray Wil­son.

As the last strag­glers rais­ing funds for the York­shire Air Am­bu­lance and the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety crossed the bor­der into Lan­cashire near Tod­mor­den shortly be­fore noon reach­ing Turf Moor must have felt as unattain­able a goal as the pun­dits be­lieve Premier League sur­vival re­mains for their beloved team.

More of the same com­mit­ment shown by not only Schindler but also those in­trepid fans sport­ing blis­ters come Satur­day evening and this may yet be a fight that can be won.


OPEN­ING HIS AC­COUNT: Ger­man cen­tral de­fender Christo­pher Schindler cel­e­brates his first Premier League goal, top, af­ter Sam Vokes, left, had headed Burn­ley ahead at Turf Moor. Right, the frus­trat­ing Ra­jiv van La Parra at­tacks Jack Cork.

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