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5 things we learnt from Town's 2-1 victory over Norwich City

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For the first time in over 45 years, Town overcame the odds to secure an away victory at Carrow Road, defeating Alex Neil's lacklustre side to confine them to their seventh defeat in their last nine Championship outings.

In the 5th minute, Kasey Palmer broke from midfield and laid the ball into Tommy Smith's path as he surged from the full back position and played a superb cross which Elias Kachunga emphatically headed in Tommy Smith's cross. There was a suspicions of offside but Town were more than worthy of their early lead.

Only 19 seconds later, Johnny Howson powered in Robbie Brady's looping cross to equalise for Norwich.

Despite the momentary set back, Town remained in control and deservedly regained the lead after John Gorenc Stankovic's pass found Elias Kachunga who after some neat interplay with Tommy Smith stabbed the ball beneath John Ruddy to give Town the lead going into half time.

The second half was littered with chances, noticeably Nelson Oliviera lifted a chip just wide of the far post and Sebastien Bassong narrowly missed a header in the dying moments but Town held on for the win.


This piece will discuss five things we learned from Town's 2-1 victory over Norwich City............

1) A statement of intent

Under the Friday night lights, in front of the Television cameras, it felt that it could be one of the occasions that Town froze.

Town's last two outings in front of the Sky cameras resulted in disappointing defeats to Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan Athletic at home.

However, this time, Town took the opportunity to showcase their fast flowing attractive football and signal a statement of intent.

Although Town could have potentially be seen as favourites as Norwich were yet to beat a top half side, very few expected Town to win in the manner that they did.

It was clear to see that Town no longer feared whoever they faced and rather than sitting back and soaking up any pressure that Norwich put on Town, Town went on the front foot and stunned Norwich.

If Town can find a way of replicating that first half performance on a regular basis, not many, if any Championship sides will be able to cope with Town.

2) Momentum continues to build

The victory over Norwich City confirmed the belief that we have now overcame the drop in form which caused some to hastily state that the wheels had fallen off.

Strong wins over Bristol City and Burton Albion had Town fans feeling quietly confident prior to a tricky encounter at Carrow Road.

The win over Norwich sees David Wagner's side earn their third win in a week and a draw against Blackburn Rovers have seen Town become of the most in form sides over the past five games.

The momentum seems to be build and with two winnable home games against Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers before the new year, Town could keep the momentum building.

Momentum will need to be carried throughout the busy Christmas period if Town want to remain in the heart of what is already a heavily contested play-off picture.

3. The most productive combination in the Championship

As well as Town climbing momentarily into third place, Tommy Smith and Elias Kachunga also rose in the goalscoring and goal assist charts.

Elias Kachunga scored his seventh and eighth league goal of the season, showing what an astute signing he has been.

Whereas Tommy Smith rose to second in the Championship assist chart only behind Conor Hourihane as he got his fifth and sixth assist of the season.

A real achievement for the attacking full back who has in recent weeks, particularly in the first half against Bristol City and Norwich prove to be Town's most attacking threat.

An interesting caveat is that Tommy Smith and Elias Kachunga have been the most productive combination in the entirety of the Championship.

Elias Kachunga's clever movement and fluid nature sees him drift off the right flank and into his more natural central striker position, the movement gives Tommy Smith the freedom of the right flank to overlap and get forward at every opportunity.

The combination of Smith and Kachunga has directly led to six goals this season and the victory over Norwich City, saw the combination result in both of Town's goals.

David Wagner will be hoping Tommy Smith and Elias Kachunga can continue to be the catalyst for Huddersfield's success.

4. Managerial mismanagement vs An astute man manager

Much of the emphasis will be Alex Neil and the increasing amount of pressure the Scottish manager is now under.

However, it was David Wagner who won the battle of the wits between the two young coaches as the German came out on top in an intriguing tactical exchange.

The moment of mismanagement that Alex Neil happened prior to the match actually beginning.

Alex Neil's choice to play the identical starting eleven to the one that beat Aston Villa in a close exchange on Tuesday night at Carrow Road appeared to backfire.

In contrast, David Wagner made four changes to the side, acknowledging that a positive rotational strategy is key in a busy period where there is a flurry of games leading up to the new year.

From the very start, the change in approaches were noticeable as Town were in total command. They dominated possession and the tempo of the game and seemingly won every physical exchange and second ball, the only lapse in concentration was Norwich City's equaliser 19 seconds after Town took the lead.

However, it was noticeable that David Wagner had astutely managed his side, showing his trust in the entirety of his squad and his willingness to change a winning side even if it was a potential risk. Alex Neil, on the other hand, refused to utilise his squad and his stubbornness ultimately led to a first half performance which lost him the game.

5. There are no limits

In an entertaining post match interview with David Wagner, the humble and yet extremely ambitious nature of David Wagner came across lurking behind his charismatic persona and wide smile.

When questions were raised regarding where this Huddersfield Town side could go after picking up seven out of a possible nine points against the recently relegated sides (all of which Town have now played away from home), David Wagner suggested like he has in the past that we remember our humble beginnings and remind ourselves of where we have come from but that we have no limits.

As Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion, two sides that have built towards mounting a promotion challenge in differing ways, Huddersfield Town, in comparison should be nowhere near the top when comparing the squad and resources on paper.

However, football is not played on paper.

We have almost reached the halfway stage of the season, as we sit in fourth position, no element of luck could enable us to maintain our consistency throughout the season and at this moment in time, we are more than worthy of our play-off berth.

With increasingly strong away form as the victory over Norwich showed coupled with the extremely strong home form, there is no limit to what Town could achieve this season as we continue to defy the odds as the team looks to match their manager's ambition.
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Writer:Elliott Wheat-Bowen
Date:Monday December 19 2016
Time: 3:41PM

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