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A Platform to Build Upon

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As we mark the three year anniversary of David Wagner’s appointment as Huddersfield Town manager, Monday night’s result was yet another reminder of how the charismatic German delivers when it is most needed.

In fairness, it is testament to the character and belief that courses through the veins of his squad. Despite having their backs against the wall and the pressure of being the last team in all four divisions of English football without a win, Town found a way.

It was a performance very akin to those we saw during Town’s promotion-winning season. From the deployment of a high press which saw Town’s opponents, this time Fulham, crumble.

Whilst on paper, the technical ability of Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham side outweighed Town – the unquantifiable qualities of fight and desire made the telling difference.

On reflection, it was clear to see that one side was willing to put their bodies on the line and scrap for their Premier League lives and the other clearly wasn’t.

Yet it was Town’s game management which was so reminiscent to David Wagner’s promotion-winning side.

So often in the promotion season, Town managed to win by a solitary goal and whilst some will argue that is a case of clinging on to dear life, on Monday night, Town were never threatened.

In fact, despite being billed as a monumental six-pointer, Town controlled the game from start to finish.

Whilst the result itself was a vital one, it was neither a complete nor a comprehensive performance. The patterns of play in the final third continue to be too predictable and the trepidation of committing men forward remains.

However, it was the result on Monday night which was a necessity, not the performance. Too often this season, we’ve seen Town perform relatively well but not secure the three points they deserve.

What Monday night did provide was an injection of belief and confidence. It provided an opportunity for this result to be a defining moment, one which we could look back at the end of the season on as a significant turning point.

With the almost immediacy of West Ham United to come at home, I hope this result is regarded by David Wagner as a platform to build on. Despite West Ham United’s two comprehensive victories over Town last season, there is an opportunity to secure back to back win for the first time since February.

For many, there was just a sigh of relief to get the first three points of the season. For me, it gave me belief.

If Town can get a positive result to follow up the victory on Monday evening, it could be the springboard to really kick-start our season and give us momentum going into a run of fixtures which could prove to be the difference come May.