Boss pleased with bouncebackability
Paul Lambert praised his side's ability to shrug off the disappointment of defeat and produce a positive result at the end of a gruelling week. The City boss was an angry man as he watched his side dumped out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on penalties after a head to head with Southampton in midweek, insisting the vagaries of officialdom had been costly.
Paul Lambert praised his side's ability to shrug off the disappointment of defeat and produce a positive result at the end of a gruelling week.
The City boss was an angry man as he watched his side dumped out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on penalties after a head to head with Southampton in midweek, insisting the vagaries of officialdom had been costly.
Four days later, Lambert's mood had brightened considerably as he reflected on a convincing win over one of City's biggest rivals.
It wasn't all plain sailing: Lambert admitted Huddersfield were the better team in the first half, but it all changed after a half-time team talk that was more about the practicalities of winning a game than the throwing of tea cups.
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What was the secret? Lambert wasn't saying.
"Obviously what's in the dressing room stays there at times," he said.
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"I wasn't too disappointed to come in at 0-0 because I knew the tiredness would have been there and sometimes you have got to ride a storm before you come through it because you are never going to dominate every single game that you play.
"I said some things that might be relevant to the game.
"Stephen (Hughes) came on at half-time and gave us a bit more drive. Young Tom (Adeyemi) looked tired.
"I just thought what I had to say was relevant - but that counts for nothing because those lads go out and play the game, they're the ones who step over that white line and they're the ones that make it happen so they deserve the great credit.
"I knew there was a bit of jadedness there from Southampton.
"I knew we were against a really good side, but I have got to say the spirit and the desire not to be beaten when things are going against you was absolutely brilliant and I said to them at half-time, 'you've got your second wind now, got out there and grab it', and I thought they were extraordinary, the effort was extraordinary, considering what happened at Southampton, the disappointment of getting knocked out and the long journey and having to go again against a really good side.
"They have been brilliant, absolutely extraordinary.
"When we came in here they were one point from three games.
"You can just sense it with the fan base - that's your judge.
"The game is not about me, it never will be.
"It's about them and the players.
"They are the most important people at the football club, the players and fans."
Victory over Huddersfield and Charlton's 4-4 draw at home to Millwall closes the gap between City and the Londoners to four points - and with the Christmas programme always likely to throw a spanner or two in the works, there's a feeling that City could benefit.
"I think there will be a lot of give and take throughout the coming months and games," said Lambert.
"I think the next period we go into when you have got to go Saturday, Monday, is hard on its own, but there are loads of games for people to drop and gain points.
"I never look too far into the future, I'm just one game at a time.
"You would love to be sitting first, but at this moment we can't, but the fear of failure drives you on."
The only blot on the landscape was a fifth booking of the season for Gary Doherty, which means he misses the Boxing Day game at home to Millwall, which leaves Lambert hoping that Danish central defender Jens Berthel Askou, who missed the game with a foot inury, recovers.
Midfielder Korey Smith was also absent with a thigh injury - and was replaced by Adeyemi.
"Korey might (be fit), Jens we just have to wait and see," said Lambert.