Huddersfield Town now showing survival spirit

THE two words which perhaps best summed up Huddersfield Town’s hearty and encouraging performance against Cardiff City on Friday night were intensity and concentration.

Miss: Yaya Sanogo puts his penalty wide. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

It was a display that could – and should – have secured just their second win in 13 Championship games following a grim start to 2021, but something even more significant took place.

Against a physically strong and in-form side pushing for the play-offs, Huddersfield were not intimated, stood tall and coped with anything that Cardiff thrust into their direction in a 0-0 draw.

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It is the time of year when results are king and substance reigns over style and if Town can handle the power of a side like Cardiff, they should be able to hold their own against any rival.

Oh no: Yaya Sanogo after missing his penalty.

Town’s defensive trio of Naby Sarr, Richard Keogh and Rarmani Edmonds-Green won their fair share of aerial duels and the decision-making of young goalkeeper Ryan Schofield was sound.

On the flanks, Pipa, who played on the left, and Aaron Rowe were disciplined in their defensive work.

A committed, strong performance abundant in team-work, honesty, organisation and spirit should have yielded three points, only for Yaya Sanogo to miss a 73th-minute penalty and Pipa and Fraizer Campbell to spurn late opportunities.

But registering a point and a clean sheet was still admirable and should Huddersfield replicate that fight and performance level regularly in the games and weeks ahead, there is a very good chance that they will remain a Championship club come the end of the season.

Pipa said: “We knew this game would demand a lot of concentration in set-pieces and with throw-ins in defence. The team worked very well in all the places that we worked on in the week.

“Unfortunately, we could not score and missed the penalty and the chance I had and another from Campbell, but this is football. Missed goals is part of football.

“But when you keep that intensity up, there is a good feeling at the end from the team.

“It was not the good result we wanted, but we are creating a lot of good chances to get the results. We add points and anything which adds points to the table is good for us.

“We know we have to keep working like this to get the results we want. We are happy with the point, but it was not the best (result) we wanted.”

In difficult situations and at times where you have to dig deep both individually and collectively, showing your adaptability can be a very valuable asset.

Switched from his usual berth on the right-hand side to the left, Pipa is happy to do just that when needs must and aside from his late miss when he was sent through on goal by Lewis O’Brien but was thwarted by goalkeeper Dillon Phillips, the Spaniard could look back on a commendable display.

He added: “I feel very comfortable on the left as on the attack, I have more possibilities and can drive inside and outside and cross and shoot.

“If it helps the team, I am happy to do that.”

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