“Today, I feel really proud of the players.”
That was the message from Huddersfield Town boss Carlos Corberán following his team’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final.
The Terriers narrowly missed out on a place in the Premier League next season after Levi Colwill’s 43rd minute own goal proved to be the difference at Wembley Stadium.
But despite falling just short of their ultimate goal, the Town manager was full of praise for his players.
“This is something that maybe nobody was expecting at the start of the season,” he said. “The mentality of this team has taken them to the final.
- Read more: Nottingham Forest beat Huddersfield Town in Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final
- Read more: How Forest ended their 23-year top-flight drought
“They have showed that with a high level of character, with togetherness, with confidence, with belief in the team, they can be very competitive.
“We wanted to be celebrating the promotion of the team, so the first thing is to accept that we didn’t win today. To go to a different league was the dream of myself and the Club, but this is part of football and part of life.
“My feeling was that if I analyse the game, I cannot criticise many things of our team, because the team were performing really well.
“Unfortunately, they had one opportunity and scored. I cannot say that we had many opportunities, but it is true that we had moments that could’ve led to a clear chance, we just didn’t do it.”
In a tight game of few opportunitiesat either end, Huddersfield dominated possession in the second half, but were unable to find a way through a resolute Forest defence.
“I think the game was really balanced,” Corberán continued. “We played the two halves in different ways. First half, we tried to be solid defensively – they have quick players who exploit space, so we were compact and tried to play on the counter-attack.
“After their goal, it was clear that in the second half, we needed to play in a different way. The team was more aggressive, we took more risks and we played higher up the field, but we just didn’t create the chances we wanted to create.
“As the coach, I have to look at if there was anything we could do different. That’s part of the process that I will try to analyse."
For Corberán, attentions will quickly turn to the future as he prepares for another season in the Championship next term.
“When you play in this final, one team is going to stay in the Championship and one is going to go up to the Premier League – we have to accept our situation,” he said.
“When you look at our dressing room, if you ask any of the players if they would want to leave, I think they would say no. They want to stay.
“The Championship is not easy and we finished third in the league, so my mentality will be to go again and finish as high as possible again.”