Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner last night branded the state of the John Smith’s Stadium pitch as “unacceptable” following damage caused by the staging of a pop concert earlier this month.
The Terriers beat Lyon 3-1 in an entertaining friendly thanks to club record signing Terence Kongolo’s first goal in a Terriers shirt and a late double from Laurent Depoitre.
As happy, however, as Wagner was to get the better of a side who will play in this season’s Champions League, he was also left angry by one area of the pitch having been left discoloured and threadbare by the staging of a pop concert featuring X-Factor winners Little Mix on July 15 at a venue run by Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd.
“This is not good,” said Wagner when asked about the pitch by The Yorkshire Post. “It is not how it should look for a Premier League side. There are other people at our club, Julian Winter the CEO for example, who have to take care of this and have those conversations.
“But this is not satisfactory and not what I expect when we play in the best and biggest competition in the world. It is unacceptable.
“We have some very good people at this club who will take care of this issue. But I am anything but happy that is how it is.
This is not satisfactory and not what I expect when we play in the best and biggest competition in the world.David Wagner
“Obviously, someone made a big, big mistake.”
Chelsea are due at Huddersfield on the opening day and it is to be hoped the surface has recovered by then as it had an impact on last night’s friendly.
Memphis Depay, the former Manchester United wideman, missed three great chances inside the opening ten minutes at the affected end. On each occasion, his wary final steps betrayed a lack of trust in the threadbare turf.
Eventually things settled down and Lyon took the lead five minutes into the second half when Maxwel Cornet, after being played clear, made light work of skipping past the otherwise unbeatable Ben Hamer to score.
Town’s response was impressive, as first Kongolo levelled from close range after being found by a knockdown from Philip Billing.
Then, Depoitre stepped centre stage by firing in a rebound on 81 minutes after his initial shot had been blocked before finishing with aplomb at the death to cap an encouraging night for the hosts.