Huddersfield Town and Neil Warnock offer hope of great escape after proving their resilience at Millwall
The Terriers go into the international break with renewed hope in their battle against relegation thanks to Danny Ward’s first goal since October snatching them all three points at The Den.
With eight games of the season left, Huddersfield have halved the gap between themselves and safety to three points following a second win for Warnock – who has been in the dugout for over 1,000 professional games – during his second spell in charge.
They also dealt a blow to Millwall’s play-off hopes, with Norwich and Coventry now just three points behind the sixth-placed Lions, who could not break down a resolute visiting defence.
Warnock said: “It’s really as good a result as I’ve ever had, that, in this league with the group of lads that I’ve got.
“I’ve come probably a month too late, really, in that respect – but you never know in football.
“You’ve got to go right to the end and if they give me that in every game between now and the end of the season, we can surprise a few.
“All these teams at the top of the league have got to come and see us, so we’ve got to give it a go and see if we can get some other good results.
“If you saw the dressing room after, it’s something that they’re not used to and I thought the fans as well were fabulous.
“They’ve been coming all year and they must have seen some terrible performances, so to get a win like that here, I think they really appreciated what we did.”
Millwall pressed for an early opener, with Andreas Voglsammer shooting over before Huddersfield goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik produced saves to deny Charlie Cresswell and Tom Bradshaw.
The visitors then had a chance of their own when Jack Rudoni’s effort needed to be pushed behind by Millwall goalkeeper George Long.
Vaclik then foiled the Lions again late in the first half by beating away a shot from Voglsammer, but the Terriers defence limited their hosts to long-range efforts from that point.
They then broke the deadlock after 67 minutes when Ben Jackson’s low cross was steered in at the near post by Ward, who had earlier replaced the injured Martyn Waghorn.
The closest Millwall came to breaking Huddersfield hearts was when Scott Malone’s mis-hit cross struck the crossbar in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
Millwall boss Gary Rowett said: “They had lots and lots of men behind the ball, left Waghorn up front on his own and didn’t really cause us any real attacking problems apart from the one moment we switch off.
“We’ve kept the ball quite well – it’s impossible to play forward quickly and early every time when they’ve got 10 men behind it, so you’ve got to be patient.
“You’ve got to try and open them up with a little bit of good play and it always comes down to that final third.
“The final third is that little area where someone has got to come up with a bit of magic or come up with a bit of quality.”
Millwall: Long, McNamara (Shackleton 84), Cresswell, Cooper, Wallace (Malone 84), Leonard, Saville (Esse 76), Honeyman (Burke 60), Flemming, Voglsammer (Watmore 60), Bradshaw. Unused substitutes: Hutchinson, Bialkowski.
Huddersfield Town: Vaclik, Pearson, Lees, Helik, Ruffels, Hogg, Edmonds-Green, Koroma, Rudoni, Jackson, Waghorn (Ward 45). Unused substitutes: Hungbo, Kasumu, Camara, Simpson, Diarra, Bilokapic.
Referee: Andy Davies (Hampshire).