David Wagner refused to give up the fight for survival after Huddersfield Town suffered their eighth consecutive Premier League defeat, losing to relegation rivals Burnley.
The Terriers took the lead just after the half-hour mark at John Smith’s Stadium when striker Steve Mounie scored his first league goal of the season but the tentative sense of hope around the ground evaporated when Chris Wood equalised for Burnley seven minutes later.
Matters worsened for Wagner when Christopher Schindler felled Dwight McNeil and was shown a second yellow card to leave the hosts with 10 men and 49 minutes of the game left to play, the visitors eventually capitalising when Ashley Barnes finished a good team move by the Clarets that broke Huddersfield’s determined resistance.
Burnley’s Robbie Brady was sent off in the last minute but it was too late for Huddersfield to get back on terms and Wagner was left to contemplate the eight-point gap his rock-bottom side must close to get out of the drop zone.
DW: “We started well and took the lead, but Chris Schindler’s red card – which I think was the correct decision – is a big moment.
— Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) January 2, 2019
“We started well and took the lead, but Chris Schindler’s red card – which I think was the correct decision – is a big moment,” Wagner told reporters. “I cannot fault the way the players fought afterwards, despite the defeat.
“We know that, statistically, no team has survived in the Premier League from this points level at this stage, but we’ve beaten a lot of stats before.
“We continue. We know what we have to do between now and the end of the season. The table tells the truth at this stage of the season, but the commitment, effort and attitude is still absolutely there from the players.
“We’re disappointed, but we believe and carry on.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche celebrated back-to-back Premier League victories for the second time this season,
He praised the performance of his strikers and underlined the importance of his players keeping their cool when they went behind.
When asked about the performance of Wood, Dyche told BBC Sport: “He’s coming back to where he was last year. He’s looking sharper. Barnesy [Ashley Barnes] as well, they’re coming back to where they were.
“We showed a good mentality towards the game. We were 1-0 down and there was no panic.
“We had calmness and the belief is growing again in what we do. We scored a really good goal and then the sending off changes the feel of the game. Then it is difficult. It is game of patience and believing we will break them down and we did.
“We stayed focused, shifting the ball and eventually scored with a really fine move.”
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