Huddersfield Town fell to a second successive defeat against an in-form Preston North End at Deepdale last night.
Despite David Wagner celebrating his 45th birthday, the German Head Coach witnessed his side put in a lacklustre performance with the Lilywhite's wrapping up the victory within the hour thanks to goals from Tom Clarke, Alex Baptiste and Paul Gallagher.
Town were punished for failing to deal with dead-ball situations and although Nahki Wells pulled one back late into the game, the match was the first time Town had conceded more than a single goal this season.
But what can Huddersfield Town take away from the result? Below Examiner Football Writer Blake Welton assesses the defeat.
1) Defending Set Pieces Needs To Be Redressed
David Wagner spent a lot of time, effort and money over the summer reinforcing what was a creaky Huddersfield Town backline last term.
And the flying start to this season has very much been down to the newly-improved defence, marshaled expertly by record-club signing Christopher Schindler.
But despite all the pre-match warnings of Preston's direct style of play and threat from set-pieces, free-kicks were at the centre of all three of the Lilywhite's goals.
Paul Gallagher's trio of deliveries was excellent but even so, each were soft and relatively unchallenged from a defensive perspective, bringing back painful memories of last campaign.
Ahead of the weekend clash with Derby, work needs to be done on not only redressing this but also being disciplined enough not to give away too many free-kicks in dangerous positions in the first place.
2) Aaron Mooy Looked Jaded
The on-loan Manchester City man has been an ever-present for David Wagner's side this season but looked jaded last night.
The 26-year-old has formed a fine partnership with tough-tackling Jonathan Hogg in Wagner’s favoured 4-2-3-1 system and been crucial to Town's fine start to the season.
But a drop in his performances have coincided with Town recording successive league defeats for the first time this campaign.
It looked as if his most-recent exertions for national side Australia had finally caught up with the midfielder at Deepdale, severely off the pace throughout the 90 minutes.
Mooy wouldn't be human if they hadn't though – performing in both the Socceroos World Cup Qualifying games against Japan and Saudi Arabia during the recent international break before flying back from a 10,500 mile 22-hour trip from Melbourne to West Yorkshire to face Sheffield Wednesday last Sunday.
Just days later he was asked to 'go again' away to Preston North End – it was too much too soon and it's time for the player to be taken out of the spotlight on Saturday.
3) Will Town Ever Win at Deepdale?
Similar to the mid-week trip at Brighton & Hove Albion last month, Deepdale is not a happy hunting ground for Huddersfield Town.
Ahead of the game, Town had failed to win at Preston in their last 14 visits – the last victory coming back in the 1969/70 season – when they last won promotion from the second tier.
Two goals from Frank Worthington and another from Jimmy Lawson sealed a 3-1 win for Ian Greaves' side that day but last night saw a score-reversal against an in-form Preston North End side.
David Wagner's birthday or not, the Lilywhite's 19th position in the table belied the fact they were unbeaten in four and coming into the game on the back of a commendable 2-2 draw away at Brighton at the weekend.
This was never going to be a piece of (Birthday) cake for the German boss.
4) Derby County Game Could Be Season Defining
Ahead of the international break Huddersfield Town were flying high at the top of the SkyBet Championship, winning an impressive eight games out of eleven with the only defeats coming away at Brighton & Hove Albion and Reading .
Yet David Wagner's side now face the real danger of losing three games in less than a week as a rejuvenated Derby County visit the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday.
The side are still in a great position with the start defying many of the odds but a third straight defeat would be a massive blow to confidence with a tough trip to Fulham and a home game against high-flying Birmingham City still to come.
5) Lets Keep Some Perspective
All things considered, there's certainly no need to hit the panic button just yet despite the last two results.
The complete summer overhaul of the squad was bound to have teething problems and the fact so many players have hit the ground running so far this season should be viewed as a bonus.
Huddersfield Town have had it good so far this season, enjoying and revelling in the start but realistically it was only ever a good beginning with hopes of automatic promotion slim in comparison to heavy-hitters Newcastle United and Norwich City.
The Play-Offs certainly aren't out of the question though and a Top Six finish should be the aim this season with Town currently comfortably in fourth, five points ahead of seventh-placed Bristol City.