March 18, 2018 / 5:34 AM / a month ago

Soccer: Wagner pinpoints Huddersfield's problem after loss

HUDDERSFIELD, England (Reuters) - Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner said his team had to improve their ball possession if they were to bounce back from Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by fellow strugglers Crystal Palace.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Huddersfield Town vs Crystal Palace - John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield, Britain - March 17, 2018 Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner looks dejected REUTERS/Peter Powell

Goals in each half from James Tomkins and a Luka Milivojevic penalty secured the three points for Palace who looked a cut above their opponents in all areas, despite starting the game below them in the Premier League table.

“It is a defeat that I am able to deal with because I know exactly where we went wrong,” German Wagner told reporters.

“We were not good enough in ball possession, we gave the ball away too easily and were not calm enough,” he added.

“We rushed too many situations from my point of view, (we are better) where we can be calm enough and circulate the ball rather than too immediately penetrate and pass forward. You have to wait for the right moments to take risks,” Wagner said.

Huddersfield are 15th but just three points above the relegation zone and their next two games are away to fellow promoted sides Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion.

But Wagner said his side would need to be more compact and make better use of the ball.

“If you give the ball away too easily the distances between you and your team-mate are too big and you are never able to win the ball back. You are always a yard or two too late, Palace has top class players and they are able to use that two or three yards to be a threat,” he said.

“And they were a threat. They deserved the result even if they scored from two set-pieces they had enough other opportunities to score, they were a threat on the counter and they deserved the win,” said Wagner who could take consolation in the return to fitness of attacker Elias Kachunga.

“It’s important how you manage defeats and a disappointment like today. The good thing is that we know what we have done wrong and what we need to put right,” he added.

Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond

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