Christopher Schindler has belief that Steve Mounié could be the man to fire Huddersfield Town to Premier League safety.
Mounié set up the first goal, scored the second, and had a deflected shot for the third in the Terrier’s 4 – 1 win over Bournemouth.
The Beninese striker had a great start to Town’s season, after scoring twice in their 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on the opening day.
However, injury and inconsistency has meant he has often been second best since behind Laurent Depoitre, as the Belgian started to show why he deserved to be in the starting line-up.
Mounié was a “game changer”
Despite being Huddersfield’s joint top scorer this season, Mounié had only scored two braces in two games prior to Bournemouth, and Schindler felt that he was back at his best on Sunday:
“Steve is a really important player to us and his performance reminded me of Crystal Palace at the start of the season. He was a game changer for us.”
Over recent games, the Terriers have often sat deep, and not pressed forward enough, but they did the exact opposite on Sunday, and Schindler said: “For the most part of the season we have relied on the defence and all the pressure has been on the defence. But now we need to score goals and go ahead in games.”
On the 23-year-old, the German said: “This should have given Steve a lot of confidence. I think he won virtually every header and he works hard in training all week.”
“There has been a lot of criticism for our offensive players and it was not easy for him but he has shown what a top player he is,” he added.
Although Mounié wanted to take the penalty – which he believed would have secured his hat trick before his second was given as an own goal – he let the eager Rajiv van La Parra take it.
On this, he said: “Steve had no problem giving way to a teammate. You have to be aggressive as a striker but if you score two [one] and want to give your teammate a good feeling too that’s all the better.”
“Deserved three points” for the Terriers
Despite picking up a few knocks during the game, the vital victory kept his spirits high, and he comments how delighted he was for the team after an amazing performance:
“Everyone knew it was an important game and the manager didn’t have to remind us, the players knew this. We weren’t cramped in our play, we were free in our heads and its good to see that in pressure systems we can perform.”
This win saw Huddersfield climb out of the relegation zone at the first time of asking, albeit by just one place, and Schindler commented: “I would like to be in a more relaxed position in the table but we al know where we are and where we come from.”
Town defied all odds to get promoted at the end of last season: “We were the smallest team in the second division and now we are the smallest in the first,” he added.
Town are well and truly within the relegation scrap but producing performances like this should help them stay in the Premier League for at least another season: “We have to work really hard to collect points and while this is a deserved three points it is nothing more than that. We are back in the group of teams who all need points,” Schindler said.