By Bob Young
At the end of every episode - with the mission accomplished - the A-Team’s Hannibal Smith said: “I love it when a plan comes together.”
On Thursday night in front of 20,000 fans, David Wagner’s men put their ‘A-Game’ out there and swept away Brighton - considered by many the best team in the Championship.
The final result of 3-1 certainly didn’t flatter the Terriers, in truth it was near total domination.
With 69 per cent of possession, 23 shots compared to Brighton’s paltry two and nine on target versus just the solitary strike on goal from Hughton’s league leaders, Town could and maybe should have really put the Seagulls to the sword.
“It was a good one, maybe one of the best this season. We scored three goals and had chances for more, and conceded a sloppy goal which was easy to avoid, but it was very good,” said the Town boss purring at the performance - which was indeed their best of the season thus far.
From the off, Brighton simply didn’t have an answer to Town’s energy and drive - manager Hughton, ever the gentleman, was philosophical in his response.
“We were nowhere near the levels you need to play any game in this division, never mind one as good as Huddersfield, and on their own ground too,” explained the former Newcastle United manager.
Being 3-1 up at half time, it mattered little that Brighton went down to 10 men when Lewis Dunk continued his one man vendetta against Town’s man of the match Izzy Brown and deservedly received his marching orders. Wagner made three substitutions in the last 20 minutes, knowing the job was done and no doubt with one eye on Sunday’s local derby which promises to be a feisty affair.
A win over West Yorkshire rivals Leeds would see the Terriers leapfrog the Whites into fourth spot - still with a game in hand.
With home advantage, Ladbrokes make Town 5/4 favourites to bag all three points and complete the double over the visitors after beating them 1-0 at Elland Road back in September.
Leeds are 12/5 to exact their revenge and a draw - which wouldn’t really do either teams’ play-off hopes any damage - is on offer at 21/10.
Here’s a rather interesting peculiarity for you...
The last six league games between these two rivals at the John Smith's Stadium has seen Leeds win three, Town two with one draw.
And the last six league games at Elland Road have seen exactly the same pattern.
Now take a look at each teams’ current form over their last six league games this season.
Town have won three, drawn one and lost one.
Leeds - not to spoil the symmetry - have exactly the same ratio: won three, drawn one and lost one.
With that in mind, what else but a draw could I go for?
Town will be full of confidence coming into this game, but then so will Leeds.
Over their FA Cup debacle against non-league Sutton, they stole all three points on Tuesday night at Ewood Park against Blackburn with a last-gasp winner from fans favourite Pontus Jansson.
The big Swedish defender, unmarked powered home an 89 minute header from a Pablo Hernandez corner to leave manager Garry Monk feeling rather relieved.
“We know we didn't perform near our level but we found a way to win and, for me, that's a real good sign for a good team with a strong mentality,” said the Whites’ boss.
For sure Leeds will have to be at their best on Sunday against Town, for no matter how lucky Leeds can be, that fortuitous streak will desert them - just ask Brighton.
A 2-2 stalemate is on offer with Ladbrokes at 14/1.
There is one other match taking place on Sunday, this one a 3pm kick off.
Brighton will be desperate to cure their travel sickness and avoid three losses on the spin when they travel to Griffin Park to face Brentford.
Hughton could have done with a game against a team struggling for form themselves, but instead he faces the Bees who demolished a hapless Villa side 3-0 on Tuesday night.
Brighton may well get stung again by the Bees, but I fancy they will get at least a draw for their troubles.
TOWN AND LEEDS TO DRAW @ 21/10
BRENTFORD AND BRIGHTON TO DRAW @ 9/4
A £10 double with Ladbrokes ‘The Nation’s Favourite’ returns £100.75
Place your bets at www.ladbrokes.com