David Wagner had no complaints after Sheffield Wednesday ended Huddersfield’s 100 per cent home record and denied them a return to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 1-0 win at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Fernando Forestieri’s penalty midway through the second half was enough to separate the teams in a thunderous Yorkshire derby played out in front of 22,368 - Huddersfield’s biggest league attendance on this ground.
The hosts dominated possession and carved out a number of openings - particularly in the first half - but were unable to break down a stubborn Owls outfit who always looked threatening on the break.
“It’s a disappointing result but I don’t have any complaints about the performance, the effort, the attitude, the fighting attitude,” said Huddersfield manager Wagner.
“If two strong sides play against each other then it’s even - it’s tight like it was today.
“One situation decided the game and unfortunately it was a situation for Sheffield Wednesday.
“I can accept this result because we performed good - not outstanding but good. This is Sheffield Wednesday, one of the top teams in this division, and we are able to be competitive against them.”
The penalty came when Rajiv Van La Parra blocked Tom Lees’ shot with his hand, and the German refused to criticise the referee’s decision.
“The referee is on the pitch to make this decision and that is something we have to accept,” he added.
“It was disappointing that we had this result but it was great to see that we had the highest ever crowd for a league game at the John Smith’s Stadium.”
The visitors started at a frantic pace, with Forestieri getting clear down the left in the fourth minute and his cut back eventually falling for Kieran Lee, whose effort deflected behind.
From the resulting David Jones corner Daniel Pudil missed a good chance at the back post, and when the ball was worked back out to Jones on the right the former Burnley midfielder’s cross cannoned back off the crossbar.
The hosts soon began to gain control in midfield and Nakhi Wells found space down the left but Elias Kachunga couldn’t get enough purchase on his header.
Chris Lowe’s corner was only cleared as far as Australian Aaron Mooy, whose powerful 25 yarder fizzed over the bar, while Kachunga and Kasey Palmer were both denied by Keiren Westwood.
Four minutes after the break Forestieri was sent scampering clear, but although his delicate finish beat keeper Danny Ward it bounced back off the face of the post.
Having been denied once, Italian Forestieri did open the scoring after Van La Parra’s handling following confusion at a corner.
Mooy fired a free-kick over and substitute Jack Payne saw his effort headed over the bar as the hosts tried to respond, while at the other end Lee picked out Gary Hooper at the back post but he could not direct his header on target.
Lee headed Kachunga’s effort off the line with 10 minutes remaining, but Tom Palmer should have wrapped up the points when he was played in by Hooper but shot straight at Ward.
Wednesday boss Carvalhal was full of praise for front two Forestieri and Hooper following a second away win of the season which boosts their own promotion aspirations.
“Fernando and Gary Hooper got everything they need to do very well, but like all good strikers they need something to make them click - Fernando’s click was he played well and linked superbly with Hooper,” he said.
“I believe the future is bright with these two.
“Huddersfield have been one of the strongest teams so far in the competition so this was a big challenge for us.
“It was a typical Championship game, a typical derby and we came through it very well. It was important for us to win.”