Terriers show the spirit to survive at top level
STEVE MOUNIE revealed he had admonished his marker after securing Huddersfield Town a survival point against their fellow promoted club, whom they trail by three points.
Brighton had led for just two minutes through goalkeeper Jonas Lossl’s own goal when Shane Duffy’s wayward back pass gifted Town the equaliser.
Mounie coolly ended Huddersfield’s Premier League goal drought of 427 minutes, the Benin striker netting for the seventh time in the league this term.
The striker said: “The defender made a big mistake and I told him on the pitch ‘ you shouldn’t do that because I am always aware of this pass’.”
Davy Propper had spurned Brighton’s first gilt-edged opening with just a minute on the clock, and then saw red in the final quarter for a studs-up tackle on Jonathan Hogg, whom Town head coach David Wagner said will be assessed to reveal the extent of the injury to his ankle.
“For me, it was a tackle that was too dangerous,” said Wagner.
“Last week we had a comparable tackle and we lost (Elias) Kachunga for three months, when Kenedy made a harsh tackle that was too dangerous. This tackle was too dangerous for me as well. I’ve no problems with fighting spirit and aggression but you cannot risk injuring your opponent.
Jose Izquierdo should also have given Brighton the lead when sent through on goal but Lossl just beat him to Glenn Murray’s sliderule pass.
Lossl’s heroics counted for nought when his clanger gifted Brighton the 29th-minute opener.
The Denmark stopper should have dealt comfortably with Solly March’s regulation 20-yard drive, but instead palmed the low effort onto the post – with the rebound cannoning off his body and over the line.
No sooner were Brighton ahead, however, than another error let the Terriers draw level. Duffy’s miscued pass left Mathew Ryan in no-man’s land and only able to watch as Mounie rounded him and poked the ball into the empty net.
Mounie felt his side showed great character to respond so quickly.
“It’s a good point, earlier in the season when we went a goal down we didn’t get so many points from such games, so it’s a very good point – especially away.
“There were chances to win the game, but there were also chances to lose. We will take this point and keep going. There are five games to go so we will try and take more points.
“We showed good character and showed that we fight until the end. We’ll keep fighting be- cause without fighting we won’t stay in this league.
“The game was intense and the fans were fantastic and I hope they will keep behind us until the end of the season.”
Wagner hailed his side for keeping alive their shot at the “miracle” of Premier League survival and said there was more to their goal than a mere defensive error.
“We had a totally different mindset today. We wanted to chase them high and go in their faces. This was a goal from a mistake which we capitalised on but one which we forced them into. If we score goals out of mistakes, who cares?
“Our promotion last season was a fairytale; this season, if we survive, for me, this is another level. This would be a miracle, and the players are five games away from completing this miracle.
“We have represented Huddersfield Town as a football club in the Premier League, where we compete against multi-billionaires and against countries. I’m so happy that we still have the chance to make this miracle happen.
“Both teams wanted to win. It was a real good performance from the lads who showed bravery on the ball, played some decent football and defended with Terriers fighting spirit. It’s a point we can live with.
“The players showed a lot of good things in a difficult stadium where they still have the promotion atmosphere which we have at the John Smith’s Stadium. It was very important for the confidence and morale of the players.”
Huddersfield host Watford and Everton before travelling to Manchester City and Chelsea and then completing their season at home to Arsenal.
“We are looking forward to returning home,” said Wagner. “Five further games, five further opportunities to get points on the board. We need further points but we play these five games on the back of a good performance. Everybody at the start of the season would have loved us to be in the position we find ourselves in.”
Brighton: Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, March, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo, Gross (Kayal 76), Murray (Ulloa 67). Unused substitutes: Saltor, Baldock, Goldson, Locadia, Krul. Huddersfield Town: Lossl, Hadergjonaj , Jorgensen, Schindler, Kongolo, Ince (Depoitre 90), Hogg (Billing 80), Mooy, van La Parra (Quaner 90), Pritchard, Mounie. Unused substitutes: Smith, Malone, Coleman, Lowe. Referee: A Taylor (Cheshire).
NET GAIN: Huddersfield striker Steve Mounie taps home the equaliser during the Premier League match against Brighton.