Why a central postion suits Joe Lolley

Diminutive, nippy and most importantly the close control. All attributes which mark Joe Lolley out as a player who belongs out wide but his performance against the Iron will have certainly pleased manager Mark Robins.

Robins is a disciple of versatility and in Lolley, he holds a player who can pose different threats in different areas.

Starting from a central berth as the '1' in a 3-4-1-2, he was able to show fans a taste of what he can offer with a series of probing passes, weaving runs and electric surges from deep.

His most notable contribution to the contest was when he darted past a couple of Scunthorpe challenges as if they were cones on the training ground before looking up and almost scoring with an unconventional cross which smacked off the face of the crossbar.

He also displayed an intelligence to tuck in and help Adam Clayton and Jonathan Hogg when required and, while we should not detract from the qualities he provides on the flanks, it is always nice to have another option.

Joe Lolley was bright and inventive in a central position during Huddersfield Town's 1-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United
Joe Lolley was bright and inventive in a central position during Huddersfield Town's 1-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United
 

Tommy Smith is perfect for the three-man backline

Whether he is plying his trade as one of the three at the back or as the right-wing-back, Tommy Smith's committed display on Saturday suggested he may well be the facilitator for Robins' 3-5-2 formation.

When the team-sheets were released at Glanford Park, the expectation was that Smith would slot in alongside Murray Wallace and Joel Lynch to form the defensive unit and Lee Peltier would operate out wide.

As it turned out, it was Smith who was tasked with helping provide the balance to Town's play and he certainly helped them achieve that in the first half.

Town were rarely troubled down his flank and he sent in the cross for Town's best chance, with Nahki Wells failing to seize it.

He also popped up in an attacking position to test Iron 'keeper Sam Slocombe with a raking drive and was one of the highlights for Town until he was sacrificed for the more attack-minded Sean Scannell.

James Vaughan is as crucial as we thought

Town certainly lacked imagination in the final third as they tried to break down Scunthorpe's steely resolve.

With James Vaughan rested as a precautionary measure, Robins gave Martin Paterson another chance to prove his worth up front alongside Wells, who was a livewire in the opening stages.

The first 15 minutes proved to be Town's best stage of the match and any previous link-up play between Wells and Paterson became non-existent, particularly in the second half.

At one point Wells' ambitious through ball caught the Northern Ireland international completely off guard but it was the piece of final third play that Town had needed all afternoon.

But they did not seem on the same wavelength and the return of Town's top scorer from last term will undoubtedly serve as a huge boost to the attacking ranks.

Nahki Wells faded after a bright start and could not link up effectively with Martin Paterson at Scunthorpe United
Nahki Wells faded after a bright start and could not link up effectively with Martin Paterson at Scunthorpe United
 

A case for the defence

While there may be a slight cause for concern up front, there will be more than a few worries about a below-par defensive performance from Town which arguably was their main downfall.

As the old adage goes, if you don't score goals you don't win games. But equally it should not be lost on everyone that clean sheets are the foundation behind that and Town looked shaky at times on Saturday.

Joel Lynch started the game brilliantly, bringing the ball out of defence with an air of confidence and looked calm in defence but it all quickly became very lop-sided for the back three.

There was an imbalance when Peltier pushed on to help either Smith on the flank or Clayton and Hogg in the middle as Wallace, who is eminently left-footed, struggled on the right-hand side.

He made one poor clearance and lost out in the duels too easily on occasion as Paddy Madden, Lyle Taylor and Jennison Myrie-Williams sought to draw their markers out into wide areas - exactly where they didn't want to be.

Oliver Norwood has a point to prove

After Madden had handed Scunny the lead, Robins responded more or less immediately by throwing on Scannell in an attacking substitution while Oliver Norwood and Adam Hammill were quick to follow.

It was clear that the manager sought a quick route back into the encounter and the pace supplied by Scannell and Hammill ought to have been the formula for a potential comeback.

Instead, it was Norwood who looked the most likeliest to pick a hole in the home side's resolute defensive wall with some intelligent passing, neat runs and an appreciation for the movement of his team-mates.

One sharp exchange with Hammill illustrated Norwood's desire to become a key man for Town this season in that midfield engine room and he is certainly capable of doing so.

Ultimately, he was unable to make a palpable influence on the game nor the scoreline but he showed an energy and enthusiasm that had been lacking from some in the sweltering heat for the best part of 65 minutes.

Oliver Norwood showed a drive and passion that was lacking from Huddersfield Town's display during their 1-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United
Oliver Norwood showed a drive and passion that was lacking from Huddersfield Town's display during their 1-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United
 

Scunthorpe United 1-0 Huddersfield Town Match Report - click here to read

Scunthorpe United 1-0 Huddersfield Town Player Ratings - click here to read

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