Boss Danny Cowley insisted his “deep thinking” players made the decision that helped Huddersfield stretch their unbeaten run to seven with a 1-0 win at Brentford.
A midweek meeting of his squad saw them decide the game plan that helped them beat the Sky Bet Championship’s form side, courtesy of Karlan Grant’s 62nd-minute winner.
And Cowley admitted: “We are in place where we’re not ready to outplay opposition like Brentford and if you can’t, you have to outrun, outwork and outfight them.
“Our attitude to defending and working hard was first class and it helped disrupt their rhythm and fluency.
“We had a meeting and gave the boys two options on how to approach the game.
“We decided to press them aggressively on a tight pitch and we didn’t think we could allow them to get settled in the game because if they do they are very difficult to stop.”
He added: “We knew that if we attacked the central space we would cause them problems, especially with a high press, but because it was a collective decision it is then all about the ownership.
“You have to encourage them to be deep thinkers about the game.
“They had to run really hard and we knew it was dangerous, but because it was a collective decision that makes it easier to do.”
Cowley was full of praise for Brentford, adding: “We are trying to work towards their style of play but I think we want to be ourselves.
“I certainly do enjoy doing opposition analysis work on them, the way they beat different presses, their different passing patterns and how they get control and rhythm.
“They have some very good players and there’s a lot to admire at Brentford in terms of recruitment, development of players and the club they are becoming, so we knew it would be tough.”
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank hailed Huddersfield as “the most organised team we’ve played at Griffin Park” as he saw his side’s three-game winning run come to an end.
“They wanted to play for a 0-0 and make a goal on the counter or a set piece and you could say in a pragmatic world that their game plan worked, but if we had got the first goal it would have been a totally different game,” Frank said.
Frank was also critical of referee Rob Jones, who waited until the second half before making a stand against Huddersfield’s game management with a flurry of yellow cards.
He said: “Refs must be much stronger in dealing with some of the elements of disrupting play that we see. I’m not saying that we will never do that, but you have to ask what kind of game we want. I think we want to see a quick-moving game.
“The referee has not helped us, but having said that he wasn’t the reason we lost the game.
“If we go 1-0 up they would struggle to get back into the game, but as it went on we weren’t calm and were almost trying too hard. That is something we will learn from.”
He added: “Huddersfield defended well and some of our players were not at their top level in terms of decision-making, but now we have to start another unbeaten run.
“In the first half we were OK and created chances and in the second half we started really well, made several good chances and then the goal changed it. That’s why it’s important for us at home to get the first goal.”