Huddersfield Town point way to Premier League survival after battling draw with West Ham United

JONAS LOSSL believes Huddersfield Town have laid a platform on which they can build their Premier League campaign.

On target: Huddersfield Town's Alex Pritchard celebrates scoring his side's early goal.
On target: Huddersfield Town's Alex Pritchard celebrates scoring his side's early goal.

A week ago, David Wagner’s side had picked up just three points from an opening 10 games and many outside of the West Yorkshire town were struggling to see where their first win of the season would come from.

But last Monday’s victory over Fulham, plus a 1-1 draw against West Ham United on Saturday – Alex Pritchard’s early goal cancelled out by Felipe Anderson – has seen Town, in just six days, more than double their points tally from the first three months of the campaign.

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Granted, coming up to a third of the way through the Premier League season, Town are sitting in the bottom three with seven points, but you sense an inner resolve at Huddersfield, and goalkeeper Lossl agrees.

“We got four points out of two difficult matches, it’s always difficult,” said the 29-year-old Danish international. “West Ham had their chances as well, we probably had a few more, so maybe if anybody should have won (on Saturday) it should have been us.

“It’s easy to look at it and be a little bit disappointed with the result at the end, but, honestly, I would rather look at the week as a whole.

“Now we’ve got some points on the table which we need, but we know we need more, so there’s some very exciting games coming up.

“We knew it was kind of our cup final against Fulham and we went out and performed and we did that again today.”

Yet Town could have emerged with a maximum six points, if they had been more ruthless in front of goal against the Hammers.

The hosts could have been 3-1 up inside the opening 16 minutes.

But twice the home team managed to find the woodwork, meaning they had Pritchard’s first goal of the season – and just their sixth goal in 13 games in all competitions this season – to show for their early efforts.

The diminutive midfielder scampered around the John Smith’s Stadium throughout, in the true spirit of a Terrier, and his low shot lacked the power but it crept inside Lukasz Fabianski’s left-hand post after just six minutes.

By then, Steve Mounie had already seen his bullet-header tipped onto the crossbar by Fabianski.

The Hammers spurned their best chance of the first half when Marko Arnautovic broke the offside trip but Lossl came out on top in a one-on-one.

After Pritchard became the first Huddersfield player to score at home – since Tom Ince in April – there came another huge let-off for the visitors. The towering Philip Billing lobbed in a cross from the left flank, which evaded everyone, only to smash against the inside of the post – with Fabianski stranded – and roll back across goal and to safety.

The packed John Smith’s Stadium was bouncing. Four sides of the ground on their feet chanting, and though the words were inaudible to me, their appreciation of Wagner’s team was crystal clear.

Christopher Schindler – making his 100th appearance in a Town shirt – produced a super block to deny the impressive Anderson.

Huddersfield had a good shout for a penalty rejected when Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen was dragged down in the area.

Benin striker Mounie should have made it 2-0 after the visitors were again caught in possession at the back, but Fabianski rescued his defence with a low save down to his left.

Forced into a change just before half-time when Chris Lowe was stretchered off with a shoulder injury, which saw him finish the day in hospital, the fear was Huddersfield could be left to rue their profligacy in front of goal.

Hammers substitute Javier Hernandez – on for Grady Diangana at the break – came close to making a swift contribution. He evaded Town’s defence, Lossl blocked his first effort, only for the Mexican striker to head the rebound over the crossbar.

Pritchard fired wide, under pressure from Issa Diop, before Pedro Obiang headed narrowly wide from Robert Snodgrass’s corner.

Winger Anderson – West Ham’s record £42m summer signing from Lazio – was seeing more of the ball and his probing run down the left found Snodgrass.

The former Leeds United playmaker’s cross caused panic in Town’s defence, leaving Anderson to find Lossl’s top corner for the equaliser.

The visitors nearly pinched a winner, but Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy popped up on the line to deny a certain goal from Diop’s header.

Town finished the stronger. Erik Durm drilled a long-range effort wide before fellow substitute Laurent Depoitre was a whisker away from making contact with two teasing crosses in stoppage time.

Town now head into the two-week international break knowing they have some key games looming before Christmas.

Home games against bottom-half teams Brighton, Newcastle United and Southampton offer opportunities to bolster their points tally.

“We need to bring this positive momentum with us after the international break,” said Lossl, whose side also travel to Wolverhampton, Bournemouth and Arsenal before the festive period.

“I would rather look at the performances and say we’re on our way. We know there is an exciting programme we’re going to face now.”