Huddersfield missed out on the chance to go level on points with Sky Bet Championship leaders Newcastle as Paul Gallagher inspired Preston to a 3-1 win - their fourth straight victory at home.
A win would have moved Huddersfield level with Championship leaders Newcastle but instead boss David Wagner was left with very little to cheer on his 45th birthday.
Gallagher made a goalscoring return to the starting line-up and also teed-up Tom Clarke and Alex Baptiste for North End’s first two goals before the break.
Nahki Wells headed in a late consolation for the Terriers but that did not dampen the spirits of Preston who extended their unbeaten run to five games and moved up to 13th in the table.
“To be fair, the explanation for our performance is very easy, we weren’t on the aggression that we normally and usually are,” he said.
“So we were not on the right level when it came to fighting attitude, working attitude, especially in our first line.
“We spoke a lot about aggression before the game. If you want to be successful here against Preston you have to be aggressive, especially in the first line to defend the ball and keep the ball. This is what we completely missed.
“In the end, three set pieces decided the game. But credit to Preston, Gallagher is a great deliverer and unfortunately we were not able to defend these balls.
“It was a weakness in that game yes, but my bigger concern is that we didn’t have our fighting attitude. In the second half it was better, but the first half was not good enough.”
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