Goal-shy and toothless Terriers end 2 years in top flight

LONDON • Huddersfield's 24th Premier League loss this season served as a microcosm of their season after they became the first top-flight team to be relegated on Saturday.

While the Terriers showed spirit at Selhurst Park, it was ultimately a lack of bite, as has been all term, that proved to be their undoing as their two-year stay in the league ended prematurely following a 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace.

Wins for Burnley and Southampton sealed their fate as they matched Derby's record in 2008 as the only two teams to have gone down in March. While Ipswich were also relegated in 1995 with six games left to play, that season was played over 42 games, not 38.

Their lack of goals proved to be Huddersfield's undoing - they have failed to score in 38 of their 70 league games over the last two seasons - and, at 54.3 per cent, that is the highest ratio in the competition's history.

And, with just seven goals scored at the John Smith's Stadium, their tally of eight points on their home patch is seven less than 19th-placed Fulham.

Afterwards, Huddersfield manager Jan Siewert admitted their battling qualities were "not enough to win games in the Premier League".

  • 54%

    Percentage of league games in which Huddersfield have fired blanks over the past two seasons.

The German, who left as coach of Bayern Munich's reserve team to take over from David Wagner in January, added: "It is hard to say what I am feeling - disappointment, of course.

"It sums the season up that a penalty (scored by Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic) decides the direction."

Huddersfield skipper Christopher Schindler agreed with his boss, admitting he was "empty at the moment".

He told Sky Sports: "If we see it retrospectively, at the front and back, we weren't good enough to stay in the best league in the world.

"It's very frustrating. It is hard to find the right words... but we have to be realistic. We knew from six or eight weeks ago it was going to be hard and we needed a miracle (to stay up).

"This season, we've spent so much energy, especially in the head. Nobody wants to have this on their CV, but obviously, we had some brilliant years with this club."

"We have to work as hard as we can and make the last weeks as positive as possible as we can use this as preparation for next season."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2019, with the headline 'Goal-shy and toothless Terriers end 2 years in top flight'. Print Edition | Subscribe