Huddersfield Town played Birmingham City on a cold and snowy Tuesday Night, in an Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round replay, with the winner set to host Manchester United in the next round.
Tom Ince, a key figure in the victory, spoke to HTTV to discuss Town's win, as well as his own performance and getting that ‘winning feeling’ back in the dressing room.
10 days prior, the two teams held out for a 1-1 draw at the John Smith's Stadium, forcing the replay at St. Andrews. After an uneventful first half, the Blues opened the scoring in the 52nd minutes with a goal from Che Adams.
However, the Terriers levelled just minutes later, with Marc Roberts claiming a scrappy own goal after a strike from Ince.
Town had multiple chances in the second half, but couldn’t capitalise on any of them.
The game then went into extra time, but fitness and class proved too much for the hosts, as Town advanced on their attacking threat, with two quickfire goals from Steve Mounié and Rajiv van La Parra, before Ince himself added a fourth, seconds into the second half of extra time.
Town had good attacking play throughout
Town's attacking prowess was a key factor in the post-game analysis and it was something Ince highlighted himself.
The 26-year-old commented: “I think we probably should have seen the game out a lot earlier. We had some good chances, but then again I think its nice to see that we’re creating them type of chances.”
“We probably haven’t been able to do that in the last 4 or 5 games, where we’ve been able to hit the target and put defenders and goalkeepers under pressure," Ince added.
"There’s signs where we need to obviously kill the game off with the chances we had, but our attacking play was better, especially in the second half.”
This was a much-needed win for Huddersfield, whose only win since the middle of December was against Bolton Wanderers in the Third Round of the FA Cup.
Ince said: “We made a long night of it, but a win is a win, and its something that is nice to have. It’s great for the dressing room going into Sunday.”
This win should surely give Huddersfield some confidence as they continue the relegation battle in the Premier League.
“No matter who you play or what competition you’re in, when you get that winning feeling back, you get that confidence back, the mood starts to pick up, and you get a positive vibe from everyone,” the winger stated.
Ince complimented that attacking play, saying that it was brilliant “from all areas of the pitch”, but also that the defence was “fantastic” and all round it was "a great night to work.”
Huddersfield now get set to face in-form AFC Bournemouth on Sunday in front of the BT Sport TV cameras, in a game which many would consider a ‘must win.'
“Now we have to recover and make sure we take the performance into Sunday," Ince commented.
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Ince is happy to play “anywhere in this team”
When discussing his own performance, it was commented that he seemed to grow in confidence – especially when playing in the No. 10 role, which he switched to after substitute Rajiv van La Parra came on for youngster Abdelhamid Sabiri.
“I thought the first half was difficult, obviously with the five-back line they had it was difficult to create space and be able to get in dangerous areas," admitted Ince. "It was starting to get a little bit frustrating.”
The 26-year-old thought that David Wagner’s approach to the game whilst it was going on was good, as he felt that “there was so much more space” when he got to move into that No. 10 role.
He said: "As the game went on they [the Birmingham players] started to get tired, and their legs started to get heavy, and I’m one of them people where if I’m in the game and I can get in dangerous positions then I just grow in confidence.”
The Englishman will have been glad to add to his single tally for goals this season: “I try and assist, I try and score. I’m happy to play anywhere in this team. I just try and work hard and try and do my best.”
Ince was hoping that he would claim the first goal, which was Town’s equaliser, as he thinks it 'was going in,' but it was given to the Birmingham defender but said that “It was nice to finish off with the second one.”
“I’ve been working hard," admitted the forward. "I’ve had a lot of shots on goal and they haven’t been going in, so to get two [one!] tonight, hopefully, I can continue that going into the next block of games.”
Huddersfield will now host Manchester United in the Fifth Round on Saturday 17th February at 17:30.