Tougher tests for Terriers: David Wagner looks at the bigger games ahead

David Wagner.David Wagner.
David Wagner.
Huddersfield head coach David Wagner defended his decision to make 10 changes after a place in the play-offs had already been secured.

“At Wolves I made five changes and everyone knows my rotation policy is part of my idea in a busy Championship,” he said.

“Changes were necessary with our thoughts to the play-offs as no-one knows what will happen over the next month. It is unfair talking about my starting XI because I wanted fresh players.

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“At the moment, we are not getting consistent results but we have been able to stay in the top six and progress to the play-offs for the first time in 45 years.”

All looked to be going well for Wagner’s fringe players in the early stages but he said: “We were unable to break them down even when we had some good opportunities. We never hit the target and have to accept the result.”

Birmingham, under caretaker manager Harry Redknapp, kept their fans on tenterhooks. Joel Coleman made a fine save from Lukas Jutkiewicz’s penalty after Che Adams had been brought down by Mark Hudson and Adams received a straight red in the opening 25 minutes for a challenge on Martin Cranie.

Birmingham, however, carved out just their third win in 24 League games with a first-half goal from Jonathan Grounds and a penalty from Craig Gardner in the 75th minute after Jacques Maghoma had been brought down by Tommy Smith.

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It leaves Birmingham fighting with Blackburn and Nottingham Forest to avoid the drop.

Birmingham City: Kuszczak, Nsue, Morrison, Shotton, Grounds, Davis, Kieftenbeld, Gardner, Maghoma, Che Adams, Jutkiewicz (Dacres-Cogley 90). Unused substitutes: Legzdins, Gleeson, Frei, Bielik, Keita, Sinclair.

Huddersfield Town: Coleman, Smith, Hudson (Mooy 67), Cranie, Holmes-Dennis (Wells 46), Whitehead, Billing, Lolley, Payne, Bunn (Scannell 67), Quaner. Unused substitutes: Ward, Hogg, Schindler, Booty.

Referee: M Jones (Chester).