Whichever way you look at Norwich City defeat, Huddersfield Town have problems at both ends

EARLY ERROR: Huddersfield Town's Jonathan Hogg (Photo: Richard Sellers)
EARLY ERROR: Huddersfield Town's Jonathan Hogg (Photo: Richard Sellers)

"That was a total drubbing... unacceptable," tweeted his boss, Kevin Nagle as Warnock conducted his post-match media duties. "I believe the squad is better than this."

Whether you were on the side of the manager or his chairman did not really matter. Norwich City won 4-0, and that was that.

The Canaries are good enough to beat better teams by that margin. It was the manner that hurt.

HEADTART: Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Lee Nicholls in unable to stop Norwich City's Josh Sargent opening the scoring (Photo: Richard Sellers)
HEADTART: Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Lee Nicholls in unable to stop Norwich City's Josh Sargent opening the scoring (Photo: Richard Sellers)

"We had a few other very good opportunities to score more," said their manager David Wagner.

He spoke respectfully about his old stomping ground being "a very difficult place to come" but not on Saturday. Once Norwich were given a leg up by more calamitous defending there was only going to be one winner, hard as the hosts worked.

So far this season Town have been terrible at taking chances and far too generous in offering them.

It means all the good things Warnock saw and Nagle did not – and the former was not imagining them – counted for diddly squat. Again.

IN FORM: Norwich City's Jonathan Rowe celebrates scoring for the fifth game running (Photo: Richard Sellers)
IN FORM: Norwich City's Jonathan Rowe celebrates scoring for the fifth game running (Photo: Richard Sellers)

Josh Koroma hit the post inside five minutes and a couple of wickedly whipped Sorba Thomas deliveries did not get what they deserved.

And when the Terriers recovered their composure after two infuriating goals, Koroma and Danny Ward could not control shots from second balls, and Angus Gunn brilliantly saved Josh Ruffels' header on the run, held Tom Edwards' volley and kept out Pat Jones from a tight angle.

That they keep handing goals on a plate is infuriating, that they are coming from what should be their "bankers" even more so.

Michal Helik, at Plymouth Argyle, and Lee Nicholls, against Leicester City, already had black marks. They were good team performances too.

"Maybe at the beginning of the season it’s not about the bad defending but a bit of sloppiness," suggested Helik. Whatever it is must stop.

Jonathan Hogg set the ball rolling after 11 minutes – but not enough with an underhit backpass. Nicholls ought to have booted clear but let Josh Sargent charge it down. He was lucky not to be yellow-carded for shoving the striker, who headed in but turned his ankle on landing.

The penalty against Matty Pearson for the lower of two raised boots five minutes later was soft but a risk not worth taking.

"When experienced players make mistakes it's hard to fathom what to do because the effort's there," pleaded Warnock in the defence's defence. “I'm hoping we work through it."

Once Ashley Barnes scored the penalty, Norwich could wait for counter-attacks and did it brilliantly.

The Terriers flew out of the traps at half-time, Koroma’s shot blocked and another dangerous right-wing cross missing a finish. Norwich just went down the other end, released Adam Idah with a cheeky backheel to serve up a centre Jonathan Rowe buried at the near post. He has scored in every game this season.

"That shouldn't happen," raged Warnock. "All credit to the kid for getting there but we were there before him.

The 85th-minute fourth was similar except down the left, Idah converting from Dimitris Giannoulis.

Warnock gave his attackers a free pass, arguing: "If we'd had Harry Kane up front we'd have struggled with the goals we conceded."

But Norwich showed the clinical edge Town must aspire to – when asked about Rowe's record, Wagner reeled off the rest: three for Sargent, two for Idah, two for Barnes.

Both Huddersfield's league goals have come from centre-backs and one was Middlesbrough's Dael Fry.

Ben Wiles can hopefully lighten the load from midfield but his signing was another example of Town making life harder for themselves – at least we suspect so as Warnock would not divulge why he signed at 12.01pm on Friday, a minute after the deadline to register players.

"Rotherham turned down a massive offer last year from Burnley, he was gutted,” he did say. “I said: 'You'd have been on 40 grand now, Ben, in the Premier League!'

"I'm looking forward to working with him, he gave me a lift."

Within 90 minutes of his initial outburst, Nagle had calmed down and was calling for perspective.

"Most of your players who started played in the last 15 matches last (season and) put up one of the best records during that time against excellent clubs,” he wrote. “No reason to panic yet."

He was especially right with the last sentence, but if this charitable streak continues too much longer it will not matter what Town get right, there will come a time to panic.

Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Edwards, Pearson, Helik, Ruffles; Diarra (Headley 85), Hogg, Rudoni (Jackson 78); Thomas (Austerfield 67), Ward (Burgzorg 67), Koroma (Jones 67). Unused substitutes: Edmonds-Green, Maxwell, Harratt, Nakayama.

Norwich City: Gunn; Stacey, Duffy, Gibson, Giannoulis (Gibbs 85); McLean, Sara; Fassnacht (Springett 76), Barnes, Rowe (Placheta 76); Sargent (Idah 14 (Nunez 85). Unused substitutes: Omobamidele, Long, McCallum, Forshaw.

Referee: D Whitestone (Northampton).