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Carlos Corberan applauds Danny Ward’s performance against Blackburn

Huddersfield Town v Blackburn Rovers – Sky Bet Championship – The John Smith’s Stadium
(Image credit: Zac Goodwin)

Huddersfield manager Carlos Corberan hailed a genuine “number nine” performance from two-goal striker Danny Ward following a thrilling 3-2 victory over Blackburn.

Ward had only managed two goals in 28 outings since arriving for a second spell in West Yorkshire from Cardiff in August 2020, but matched that tally on one night with a headed second-half brace.

The Terriers, who opened the scoring courtesy of a first goal in English football from Spanish midfielder Alex Vallejo, were twice pegged back by equalisers from nine-goal Championship top-scorer Ben Brereton Diaz before Ward had the final say in the 84th minute.

On the 29-year-old’s contribution, Corberan said: “I was very pleased to see the level of energy he showed. He took everything he has out onto the pitch and he can help us a lot when he plays like that.

“In some games we haven’t seen enough of him in the box but, today, he attacked the ball like a number nine. We wanted to be brave and energetic in attack and we pressed when we needed to and kept the ball when we needed to.”

Corberan was also pleased with the manner in which his seventh-placed side reacted to back-to-back defeats without scoring.

He said: “I’m very proud of the players. They showed a lot of character and, from the first minute, a lot of energy and determination.

“They responded well to difficult moments after they scored both of their goals and kept a level of confidence in themselves that meant myself and the fans still felt they could go on and win the game.”

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray felt injured skipper Darragh Lenihan was sorely missed, arguing that the goals his team conceded were uncharacteristic.

“It was probably a good football match for the neutral, but not very good for the managers of both teams,” Mowbray said.

“They are pretty good in possession and can hurt teams with their passing patterns, so you have to give them credit, but I thought our effort deserved more than we got from the game.

“The spirit of the team has been evident all season and it was again tonight. I can’t question the players’ desire to have a go but I’m disappointed with the goals we conceded.

“We’re not a team that concedes those types of goals, but we had a much-changed defence without apportioning too much blame. The fight the kids in the team showed will also stand them in good stead, because we try to educate them along the way and build collective spirit.”

Midfielder Joe Rothwell, meanwhile, added to Mowbray’s injury woes when he exited the action with a quarter-of-an-hour still to play due to a glute muscle issue.

“Joe was injured at half-time but we wanted him out there so, hopefully, more damage hasn’t been done by keeping him on longer,” Mowbray added.