Chris Powell faces a bigger challenge than he first imagined

Even in his worst nightmares, Huddersfield Town manager Chris Powell could not have envisaged how meekly his side would surrender to Leeds United in a game of this magnitude.

His troops were second-best from the get-go, second to every midfield contest and second to every ball that dissected the heart of their backline with alarming regularity.

Put plainly, the job Powell faces in keeping this Town side up will be an extremely challenging one and a true test of his managerial credentials with the resources made available to him.

Too many players in the team at Elland Road were either on the periphery or simply not good enough on the day and Leeds tore apart at them ruthlessly without an afterthought, hassling and harrying from an early stage to upset the Terriers apple cart by refusing to allow Town the right to get the ball down and play.

He will surely relish the opportunity to correct what was, regardless of if it was just three, a laceration of his side but performances speak louder than words and in this toughest of seasons in the Championship, Powell must ensure his side are not found wanting like they were at Leeds once more.

Loan market must be exploited

The 4-3-3 formation stayed intact but personnel were chopped and changed which meant Nahki Wells was tasked with being the sole spearhead up front in a role which, it is clear, does not maximise his strengths.

He will have appreciated the move from the right flank - where he was deployed unsuccessfully in the week against Wigan - but was equally ineffective on his own up front, with Town desperately requiring a seasoned hold-up man to both prevent the Leeds onslaught and add more substance to the attack.

Instead Wells was left to fight a battle he was never likely to win against the imposing and uncompromising figure of Giuseppe Bellusci in the Leeds defence and he looked in urgent need of someone to alleviate the pressure, something neither Harry Bunn nor Sean Scannell were able to provide in first nailing down their duties as wide players.

He spurned a few chances too and Town's worrying run of just one goal in three since Powell's arrival appears to be one reliant on the work done externally in the loan market, as opposed to options readily available.

That much was made obvious when Jonathan Stead emerged onto the field and, in another inauspicious cameo, his sole contribution was to contrive to steer the ball over after Wells, who turned away with an aghast expression, had slipped him in.

Need for speed becoming a pressing one

Town look as if they can breach teams in the transition out wide, but one worrying underlying factor to this defeat was the sheer pace and power of Leeds to the comparatively lethargic demeanour of the Town defence and midfield.

The manner in which Rudy Austin - scorer of the opening goal - was able to stride through midfield without any sort of palpable attempt at a challenge did not make for good viewing, nor the way in which midfielders and even defenders were able to run off the Town midfield and beyond defence with such ease.

The later dismissed Gaetano Berardi was almost one beneficiary to that exact tactical ploy while Bellusci did prove to be, having a key part to play in his side's second goal by somehow being left unattended as Leeds countered on their visitors devastatingly.

Leadership and experience qualities can be called into question at this point at why Town were throwing bodies forward in such cavalier fashion just moments prior to the interval and yet the most concerning aspect of it all was the lack of pace from anyone in the Town midfield in tracking back.

It became a regular feature thereafter as Town sought to find a route back into the game, particularly when the ineffectual Jonathan Hogg was sacrificed for Danny Ward as a second-half substitute.

Bunn the star amongst a poor cast

Powell alluded to the fact he was able to take a sole positive from the game and it was refreshing to see his candidness about his underperforming players, as well as the praise he laid at the feet of the quicksilver Bunn after an impressive display.

It was by no means polished but then it hardly had to be, as he comfortably emerged as the cream of a poor crop to come out of this wreckage with credit to his name.

Berardi's sending-off - in part - was due to the incessant running of the 21-year-old, never allowing his marker some brief respite and his jinking runs were the highlight of a performance which featured not just youthful exuberance, but the sort of desire so sorely lacking from others.

One tackle in the dying embers of the game was eye-catching in that he noticed Sam Byram - who came on to compensate for Berardi's sending off - running free on the left before sprinting across to the far touchline and launching a crunching challenge to offer a case in point of his worth at both ends of the field.

There was a feeling that the young winger had been living off his performance in the 2-1 win at Reading but he has now scored in two of Town's four away games and been the sole beacon of light for Town in this, suggesting he could be ready to cement his place in the first team.

Harry Bunn was the sole plus point from Huddersfield Town's 3-0 loss to Leeds United
Harry Bunn was the sole plus point from Huddersfield Town's 3-0 loss to Leeds United
 

The curiosity over Radoslaw Majewski continues

The word is that the reason for Radoslaw Majewski's no-show against Middlesbrough last weekend was simply down to not being in contention for a spot amongst the club's first 18.

He returned to the bench during midweek against Wigan but, again, did not take to the field despite Powell choosing to bring on just two substitutes and badly in need of a creative spark to breach a resolute defensive line.

And his descent from being a regular in the team at the beginning of the season to the mere wilderness was prolonged on Saturday as the manager opted for Ward and Stead as his only two alterations.

When he glanced at the options available to him on the bench at Elland Road, surely the ability to get between the lines and supply a probing pass in the diminutive Pole represented more of an opportunity to test Leeds' defence than the inconsistency of Ward and the low-on-confidence Stead?

Apparently not, but there can be no guarantees that - having been exiled from a side who looked badly in need of his scheming attributes - the lack of trust in him will not disabuse the Nottingham Forest loanee.