David Wagner has hailed Huddersfield Town’s fighting spirit after they secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Reading.
Philip Billing scored the only goal eight minutes from time to seal a sixth straight Championship win, pushing them to within four points of the automatic promotion places.
Huddersfield missed a first-half penalty but bounced back to snatch the points late on.
Wagner said: “The boys showed great fighting spirit. The goal was a moment the boys deserved.
“They showed with another late goal that they never give up. We always trust and believe in ourselves.”
Huddersfield had the chance to go ahead in the 36th minute when Tyler Blackett brought down Izzy Brown.
Brown went to take the penalty himself but instead the ball went to Rajiv van La Parra, whose effort was saved by Ali Al Habsi.
Wagner said: “Missing a penalty can always happen. I have to raise my hands up to this one as I didn’t get my message across.
“Izzy wanted to take it but he was feeling ill and went off straight after. I wanted Chris Lowe to take it but there was a misunderstanding and Rajiv took it. There was confusion and it was my mistake.”
Wagner added: “We have only had one penalty this season and we are not used to it!
“What concerned me was after we missed the penalty our body language was not good and for 10 minutes Reading were on top and Danny Ward kept us in it.
“We spoke about it at half-time and I told the players they could still go out and win it in the second half.
“Both teams had good chances but we had more and that’s why we deserved the three points.”
Reading had claims for a penalty in the 52nd minute when Lewis Grabban went down under a challenge from keeper Ward.
Reading boss Jaap Stam said: “I think it was a penalty and I think the keeper touched him. You could see from the reaction of the players.
“But we didn’t get the penalty and sometimes this happens.”
Stam praised his players and added: “I am very proud of what we have done.
“It’s disappointing that we did not get at least a point. All the teams in the top six are playing each other and if we can keep winning we will get there.
“We have played against a good side in Huddersfield and there is not a lot of difference between two teams who want to play good football.
“It’s a game of fine margins and sometimes you need a little bit of luck. We are going to do everything we can to get results over the remainder of the season.”