David Wagner was delighted with Huddersfield's display
He need not have bothered.
In reducing Championship leaders Brighton to rubble, Wagner’s players made their own resounding statement about Huddersfield’s promotion aspirations.
The fifth-placed Terriers led 3-1 at the break with goals from skipper Tommy Smith, Elias Kachunga and Nahki Wells and it was the least they deserved.
Wagner said: “It wasn’t our aim to make a statement, it was only our aim to perform the way we are able to – and I think the boys did that fantastically.
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“We played with high speed, high tempo and were on the front foot – we totally deserved the result.”
It was 1972 that Huddersfield fans last watched top-flight football, but they are beginning to dream again.
Smith’s ninth-minute opener set the tone but Brighton equalised out of nowhere in the 20th minute when Aaron Mooy’s careless header was seized upon by Tomer Hemed.
But Wells’ thumping right-foot finish made it 2-1 in the 36th minute and Kachunga nodded in a third on the stroke of half-time.
Huddersfield players celebrate scoring against the league leaders
Huddersfield continued to batter Brighton in the second half – before and after Lewis Dunk’s second yellow card in the 67th minute – but somehow they did not adda fourth.
Wagner’s side gave themselves the perfect preparation for Sunday’s derby against play-off rivals Leeds.
In contrast, the defeat raised further question marks over Brighton.
Seagulls boss Chris Hughton said: “I didn’t see that coming, but I have no complaints because they were better than us in every department.”