Huddersfield boss David Wagner says the win over Fulham – the club’s first of this Premier League season – is one of the most important they have achieved during his three years at the club.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s headed own goal was Town’s first at home this season and lifted them off the bottom of the table at their opponents’ expense.
It had been 659 minutes since Huddersfield found the net on home soil – through Tom Ince’s injury-time winner against Watford on 14 April – and it was reward for a performance that showcased energy and endeavour in the first half and discipline and commitment in the second.
“This is huge for us,” said Wagner, who was celebrating the third anniversary of his appointment as head coach. “We have the winning feeling back. For sure it is one of the most important wins we’ve had in the past three years. Everybody needed this belief back. It’s massive for us.
“Nothing is more important than this winning feeling, having happy faces in the dressing room and in the club. We are back in the race after 11 games.
“When you look at the fixtures in front of us, they are teams in and around the area where they’ll be open games. Today I think we were the team who really wanted this win.”
Fulham weren’t in the game before the break and while they improved after that, they have now equalled a Premier League record by conceding 29 goals in their opening 11 games.
Monday’s defeat was the Cottagers’ fifth in a row and exacerbates what has already been their worst ever start to a top-flight season.
This is represented in their new league position, which sees them level on five points with Cardiff and 20th courtesy of the league’s worst goal difference.
Huddersfield remain in the bottom three and are just a point and two places above Fulham, but will be buoyed by their superiority over a relegation rival and a first victory in 15 top-flight matches.
Huddersfield set the tone for the evening in the early stages, dominating possession, pressing high and snapping into tackles to win the ball back whenever Fulham threatened to counter.
It quickly became clear that this was a fragile Fulham side, stripped of confidence and there for the taking, which the Terriers almost did when the tireless Jonathan Hogg dispossessed Aleksandar Mitrovic in midfield to set up Philip Billing for a 30-yard drive that struck the crossbar.
Undeterred, the Terriers stuck to their positive game plan and were rewarded when Fosu-Mensah beat Schindler to the ball but succeeded only in heading it in just before the half-hour mark.
Town were facing the prospect of becoming only the second side in English Football League history to fail to score in their first six home games of a season, joining Mansfield who failed to score in their first nine in the third tier in 1971-72.
It was a good time, then, to face the top division’s weakest defence.
Credit ; BBC