WINNING is certainly a nice habit to get into, and even better when a victory is secured in the dying embers of a game.
So, understandably, the mood in the Huddersfield Town camp is hugely upbeat following Good Friday’s last-gasp 3-2 victory at home to Preston North End.
The win kept alive the club’s faint hopes of usurping the long-time occupants of the automatic promotion slots, Brighton and Newcastle.
Third-placed Town are eight points adrift of second-placed Newcastle and 12 behind Brighton, but have a game in hand.
With the top two both playing before the Terriers kick off at Derby this evening, it promises to be another pivotal day in the Championship promotion fight.
Collin Quaner, match-winner against the Lilywhites, says belief in the squad is as high as ever heading into today’s teatime tussle at Pride Park.
Sometimes wins like the one against Preston are even more important and nicer than normal wins.Huddersfield Town’s Colin Quanner
Quaner coolly tucked home a ‘96th-minute’ winner against North End as he followed up Aaron Mooy’s saved penalty.
The January acquisition believes the late showing is yet another indication of the mental strength that head coach David Wagner’s side possess.
The German striker, whose winning goal was his first in the league for Town, said: “We all believe until the very end.
“Sometimes wins like the one against Preston are even more important and nicer than normal wins.
“There was so much emotion and spirit from us and I hope we can now carry that into the Derby game.
“What we did was put in 200 per cent effort and, thankfully, it paid off.”
Ironically, the last time Town came up against today’s opponents they also scored a late winner.
During October’s meeting, Elias Kachunga scored a header after ‘93’ minutes to maintain Town’s strong start that then, like now, saw them on the coattails of the leaders.
Despite a relatively short turnaround time to today’s game, Wagner has no complaints about the competition’s scheduling.
He insists his cosmopolitan squad, which against Preston featured players from eight different countries, are used to the rigours and demands of the English football calendar.
Wagner said: “In Germany, we call it an ‘English week’ if you have three games inside a week.
“But we are used to it by now, so we will make sure we are ready as we can be.
“We will see who looks fresh and pick the team accordingly.
“There are five games left for us now, and we must focus on ourselves.
“All the focus is on Derby and what a place to go, with a great stadium and good atmosphere.
“With the effort we showed against Preston, it’s an exciting game to go into.”
Wagner confirmed Philip Billing, who limped out of Friday’s game, will miss today’s match after sustaining a groin injury.
Last six games: Derby LWWWDL Huddersfield WLWLLW.
Referee: D Bond (Lancashire).
Last time: Derby 2 Huddersfield 0; March 5, 2016; Championship.