CONOR COADY’S smile may have been as broad as the Mersey on Tuesday night, but when it came to delighted expressions he had plenty of competition from his Huddersfield Town team-mates.
The former Liverpool midfielder’s maiden strike in Town colours was of the picture-book variety, a stunning second-half curler which applied gloss to a fantastic 3-1 victory at home specialists Wolverhampton Wanderers and was reason enough for anybody to smile.
But the Scouser was eager to share the plaudits including in the direction of manager Chris Powell and his coaching team, who helped orchestrate a first league win for a visiting side in 17 attempts at Molineux since mid-December last year.
Players and staff bore contented smiles at a job well done after the final whistle and they included unused substitute Nahki Wells, whose switch to the bench after his weekend highs came as a bit of a pre-match shock.
The Championship season may still be in its relative infancy, 10 games in, but the result – subsequently voted by the League Managers’ Association as the LG Performance of the Week – was a huge moment in Town’s season after a forgettable opening.
Coady said: “It is only going to give us momentum.
“It is a massive result for Huddersfield Town. It was a terrific performance.
“We went there with a bit of a game plan and the gaffer was great along with Steve (Eyre), Al (Alex Dyer) and Thommo (Steve Thompson).
“We listened to what they said and came out with a great win.
“Leeds was a bad day all around, last time away, and we were not good enough, but we had a game plan at Wolves and I thought every player, to a man, pulled it off for us.”
On his exquisite strike, which put Town 3-0 up in the 51st minute, he added: “I have scored none better to be honest.
“It just came out to me and I got a touch on my feet and thought ‘I might as well have a little go here’.
“Some fly straight into the stand and some fly in and I am absolutely made up.
“We knew they were going to come at us in the second half as they are a very good team. I think we needed that third as 2-0 is always tricky and if they got a goal back, they had momentum.”
Apportioning credit across the board may have been a necessary exercise, but the catalyst for Town was unquestionably seasoned striker Grant Holt, making up for lost time after a miserable time of it at Wigan.
In his full debut, the 33-year-old loan forward set up first-half goals for Harry Bunn and Sean Scannell and bullied Wolves’ centre-backs Richard Stearman and Danny Baath.
In just a game and a half in Town colours, he has already shown he can be a major player for them this term.
Unfortunately, the clock is already ticking regarding his future and while Holt has signed on an emergency loan from Wigan until November 8, the Latics do have a recall clause after 28 days.
On the situation with Holt, who combined nous and strength with frontline leadership at Molineux, Powell said: “We have just taken advantage of what has been going on at Wigan.
“It is our gain at the moment and we want that to continue.
“I spoke to people about Grant and it was an absolute no brainer for me.
“I have just said to him ‘Show people what you are about’.
“He may not have been having the time of his life at Wigan, but I said ‘Come to our club and show everyone and lead from the front’.
“I said that while he wouldn’t be wearing the (captain’s) armband that he was a leader.
“He has fitted in really well and trained well.
“Grant brings intelligence, link-up play and goals. and assists as he showed.
“I am pleased for him as you want to make a mark when you move to a new club.
“You are looking to get players who know the game and level. I looked at him and what he can bring and he has certainly done that in the two appearances. All he needs now is a goal.”
Meanwhile, Powell has bridled at talk that Wells was dropped at Molineux, despite his brace in the 2-1 weekend triumph over Millwall, with the Town manager adamant that it was specific tactics deployed in respect of Tuesday’s game that saw Wells placed on the bench.
While there was surprise at his presence among the substitutes before the game, Powell’s bold decision was fully vindicated by the result.
Powell said: “Nahki wasn’t dropped, not at all. It was tactics and what I am paid to do.
“It was a big call and we live and die by our calls and how we get results and it was the right call.
“He is a fantastic player and is going to be scoring goals for us this season, no doubt.
“But there will be times where I shift tactics, like I did on Saturday and did again at Wolves, because that is what I am paid to do.
“If you get it right more often than not, it goes for you.”