Premier League quality shines through
Huddersfield Town fans should not be negative about the defeat at Cardiff City and those who attended yesterday's clash with the Bluebirds certainly didn't seem to be, singing loudly and proudly until the final whistle and beyond.
And that was because they recognised noticeable improvement from last Saturday, regardless of the scoreline, throughout the whole side.
They were ultimately beaten by the better side - as Mark Lillis' post-match quotes appeared to indicate - and were undone by moments of magic for the first and, to some extent, the third goal.
Peter Whittingham's first-half rocket was a bolt from the blue and caught everyone inside the ground, including the Bluebirds skipper, by surprise while Jones' second was an expert piece of finishing as he waited for Alex Smithies to hit the deck before lifting smartly over him.
A goal and one less conceded than the Bournemouth defeat represents progress, albeit marginal but it is something to work with and move forwards from.
Cardiff were only relegated from the top flight last term and have retained a nucleus of the players. It certainly told.
Stead fails audition for starting berth
The clamour to see Jon Stead operate alongside Nahki Wells at the tip of the Huddersfield Town attack was tangible amongst the Town fanbase and rightly so, after his goalscoring exploits in downing Chesterfield in midweek.
Against the Spireites, Stead gave Town a focal point which, in turn, brought the best out of Wells, who was able to capitalise on the space afforded to him when defenders were preoccupied with Stead.
But in the litmus test of his bid to become a Town regular, Stead was found wanting. His homegrown status counts for a lot but he struggled to offer Town any true attacking threat against the Bluebirds.
Their was brief panic amid the Cardiff defence when Wells embarked on a first-half run at the occasionally ponderous Matthew Connolly, but aside from that there was little to worry about.
Stead found himself consigned to the borders of the contest and his role was minimal as a result. It would certainly be harsh to judge him solely on this evidence, posted in the context of coming up against one of the best teams in the Championship, but his audition for more regular first-team duties looks to be a short-lived one.
Butterfield oozes class on Terriers bow
It was not the result Jacob Butterfield would have wanted on his Town debut, nor the collective performance he imagined you suspect, but he showed enough during the defeat to Cardiff to suggest he can be a key player this season.
His late breaks from a slightly deeper midfield role showed an eagerness to get amongst the goals and general final third action and his passing was also very tidy.
He stopped short of grabbing himself a debut goal or assist but that did not detract from what was a commendable first outing.
The most eye-catching aspect was perhaps his delivery from set pieces, something that caused the Bluebirds problems all afternoon and was the root of Town's solitary strike.
Like for every member of the Town side, it was difficult to make a proper impression as the match wore on, with Cardiff able to gain a measure of control but Butterfield was one of Town's bright sparks despite defeat.
Signs 4-3-1-2 could be a winning formula
Town fans would be forgiven for bringing an abacus along to the Madejski Stadium for Tuesday's trip to Reading, given the different formations they have experienced in the space of just seven days.
The abject display in defeat to Bournemouth looks like it may have killed off the 3-5-2 setup but the 4-4-2 shape which impressed in midweek was altered slightly on Saturday.
It was altered, primarily, to accommodate Town's burgeoning stock of central options in midfield and in the first half particularly, there were plenty of positive signs with Butterfield, Conor Coady, Jonathan Hogg and Radoslaw Majewski all having plenty of touches in the opening stages.
Lillis and his men were unlucky to be two down and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer realised that, bolstering his central midfield options with the introduction of Aron Gunnarsson in the second half in an attempt to counter the crammed centre.
But that was ultimately what gave the Bluebirds a lot of joy, with Town out-numbered on the flanks and Paul Dixon particularly culpable of affording Adam Le Fondre too much space to dart into and trouble Joel Lynch.
It remains a work in progress, but Town's wealth of options in the centre could lead to further usage of the narrow four-man midfield.
Mark Lillis and the fans have a special bond
The fact Lillis was voted as Town fans' third favourite option to take the reins at Town in our online poll this week spoke volumes.
He is highly thought-of and respected by everyone at the club and the fans have clearly taken a shine to his approach so far during his interim spell.
Cries of "Mark Lillis' barmy army" rained down from the minute section handed to the Terriers fans but their admiration for how he has managed to help weather the storm of last weekend's events was made abundantly clear.
The result almost felt irrelevant; Cardiff will be in the mix for a return to the Premier League come the final reckoning while Town's objective is an altogether contrasting one.
Lillis alluded to as much in his post-match press conference and yet he still seemed upbeat in his assessment of how things fared for his side.
The probability is he won't get the full-time position in the Town dugout, but the relationship between himself and the fans has soared nevertheless.