Wagner is mocked by fans as Bris­tol City in­flict up­set

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Fa Cup - By Alex By­wa­ter at Ash­ton Gate

This tie was beamed around the world to show­case the FA Cup to a global au­di­ence. It was not a good ad­ver­tise­ment; not that Bris­tol City will care a jot af­ter a nar­row win.

Only 11 places sep­a­rated these two teams in the league pyra­mid be­fore the game and a pre­dictably tight en­counter was set­tled by Josh Brown­hill’s sec­ond­half strike.

Home fans taunted Hud­der­s­field man­ager David Wagner with chants of “You’re be­ing sacked in the morn­ing” – and the truth is Hud­der­s­field were aw­ful in the first half, lit­tle bet­ter af­ter.

It gave Bris­tol – hit hard by a sick­ness bug be­fore kick-off – the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to cause an up­set and they had the bet­ter play­ers on the pitch.

Ni­clas Elias­son, Cal­lum O’Dowda and Brown­hill all pro­duced stand-out per­for­mances.

Wagner said: “We were bet­ter in the sec­ond half and we had op­por­tu­ni­ties to score, but we couldn’t hit the tar­get. That has been a prob­lem for us all sea­son and it was not a good re­sult.

“We have lost the last nine games in a row and seven of them have been by one goal. It’s tough to pick the play­ers up and it’s the same for ev­ery­one at the foot­ball club. We are in a dif­fi­cult pe­riod and I didn’t see it com­ing, but we have to get through it.”

There was lit­tle to sep­a­rate the two sides in open­ing 20 min­utes, Hud­der­s­field goal­keeper Ben Hamer pro­vid­ing one mo­ment of hi­lar­ity when he passed a goal kick straight out for a cor­ner.

Wagner made eight changes and gave a de­but to loan sign­ing Ja­son Pun­cheon but while his team were neat and tidy enough they cre­ated next to noth­ing.

Hud­der­s­field striker Lau­rent De­poitre laboured in at­tack and had lit­tle in sup­port of him as his team – as they have done all sea­son – strug­gled to even look like mount­ing a goal threat.

Bris­tol weren’t much bet­ter ini­tially, with striker Fa­mara Died­hiou iso­lated and Pun­cheon summed up the paucity of the en­counter by drop­ping deep and then over-hit­ting a cross.

At the other end, Elias­son whipped in a dan­ger­ous free-kick but saw no one on the end of it, then Jack Hunt’s cross was headed on to the cross­bar by Ir­ish in­ter­na­tional O’Dowda. Died­hiou couldn’t con­vert the re­bound.

Bris­tol’s Jamie Pater­son fired over and De­poitre failed to reach an Erik Durm cross as both sides had fur­ther half-chances be­fore the break.

Wagner had seen enough and in­tro­duced Steve Mounie and Alex Pritchard for the sec­ond half. They made an im­me­di­ate dif­fer­ence with Hud­der­s­field look­ing much more dan­ger­ous.

Chris Lowe and cap­tain Jonathan Hogg had fur­ther ef­forts be­fore Mounie lobbed the ball over Niki Maen­paa, but Bris­tol cap­tain Bai­ley Wright got back to clear. It proved cru­cial.

Lee John­son’s hosts took the lead soon af­ter. Brown­hill picked up a loose ball from a cor­ner down the left, twisted the Hud­der­s­field de­fence in­side out, and fired past Hamer with his left foot.

An FA Cup exit will not de­fine Hud­der­s­field’s sea­son with Pre­mier League sur­vival their pri­or­ity, but they will strug­gle to do that based on the ev­i­dence here.

Wagner added: “The fo­cus was al­ways on Pre­mier League sur­vival, even be­fore this game. We haven’t had a clean sheet in our nine de­feats and it hurts. It’s not good enough. We have prob­lems at both ends of the pitch.”

Bris­tol man­ager John­son said: “The team changed about 15 times in the hours be­fore the game be­cause we had sick­ness in the camp. We had at least four or five play­ers in bed ill and some of the sub­sti­tutes were never go­ing to come on as they were ill, too.

“There has been a hor­ri­ble 24-hour bug go­ing round and pretty much all the play­ers have had it. Adam Web­ster has lost about half a stone, but he still played the full 90 min­utes.

“We were ex­cel­lent and, dare I say it, we were rea­son­ably com­fort­able against a Pre­mier League side.

“I’d like an­other home draw next and I’d like a top six Pre­mier League side. There were great scenes here last year when we played Manch­ester United and City in the Carabao Cup. If I had a choice, I’d ask for Tot­ten­ham or Liver­pool at home.”

Down Town: Josh Brown­hill cracks in the win­ner to send Hud­der­s­field out of the Cup

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.