David Wagner: Tottenham Hotspur were simply too good for Huddersfield Town
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The Terriers head coach reflected on the 2-0 loss at Wembley, the quality of the opposition and why he was disappointed for Alex Pritchard
David Wagner conceded Huddersfield Town lost to a ‘top quality’ team in the shape of Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
After a frantic start, where both teams attacked from the first whistle, it was Spurs who took the lead in the 27th minute when Heung-min Son rounded Jonas Lossl and slotted home following a fine Dele Alli through ball.
The goal had been coming and Mauricio Pochettino’s side wasted further chances throughout the rest of the first half.
It was a similar story after the break, although Tom Ince forced Hugo Lloris into a decent save with 53 on the clock and then the Lilywhites made sure they put the game to bed less than 60 seconds later when Son headed home a sensational Harry Kane cross.
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Wagner said: “We have to say clear this was a deserved defeat - we were beaten by quality. We tried to put against them effort, energy and fighting spirit and it was not enough and the second goals shows everything.
“We had a half clear-cut chance (through Ince) and we felt we could maybe get a little bit out of the game, but we made a misplaced pass and we have seen an unbelievable cross from Kane and they’ve scored a wonderful goal.
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“I think this goal says everything the teams which met. One (Huddersfield) fought and tried everything and showed attitude and effort and another team (Tottenham) which showed top quality and that’s something we absolutely accept.”
Spurs dominated the first half, but Huddersfield actually threatened inside the opening 60 seconds at Wembley and Serge Aurier was forced to make a crucial interception before Tottenham quickly got into their stride.
Wagner explained the tactical changes he made during the contest, but again held his hands up and admitted Huddersfield couldn’t cope with the hosts.
He added: “We wanted to press them high from the first second and this didn’t work. They passed through us and created chances and when we changed the shape and sat deeper we looked more solid and more comfortable.
“We limited their clear-cut chances and in the second half we were able to create one or two counter situations, but at the end they were only too good for us.”
It was a special afternoon for Alex Pritchard, a Tottenham academy graduate, after he spent seven years with the north London club.
This was the first time he had faced his old side since leaving in the summer of 2016, but he was forced off just before the interval with a dead leg.
Huddersfield’s manager conceded he felt sorry for the 24-year-old, who came through the Spurs youth set-up alongside Kane.
“Alex has a dead leg - hopefully it isn’t too serious. He may be out for a couple of days,” said Wagner.
“I was absolutely disappointed for him and he was, in the first half, the one player we thought when he gets the ball maybe something can happen.
“Unfortunately he got a dead leg, but hopefully he will be ready for the next game (at home to Swansea City on March 10).