Manager Jan Siewert said Huddersfield “still have a chance” of Premier League survival after they beat Wolves to end a 14-game winless run and give the German his first victory as Terriers manager.
Steve Mounie scored the winner in the 91st minute as he turned in the rebound from inside the six-yard box after Karlan Grant’s shot.
The win sparked wild celebrations with the striker mobbed by his team-mates after scoring, while Siewert was swamped by his backroom staff and the players linked arms to celebrate in front of their fans.
Huddersfield remain bottom of the table, still 11 points from safety but have their first win since 25 November and their first in five games under Siewert.
“Since the time I arrived, I said we still have a chance and we believe that,” the German said.
“There are still games to go. We will keep on fighting.
“My thoughts are just with the boys. They made me so proud. They deserve it so much.
“I think we can all be proud to be Huddersfield this evening.”
Town deserved the three points but it had looked like another lacklustre showing in front of goal would cost the Terriers with Mounie putting a header into the side-netting from close range earlier in the second half.
He also shot narrowly wide of the post late on while Jonathan Hogg and Jon Gorenc Stankovic could have done better with headers after half-time.
Woeful Wolves missed the chance to move into seventh in the table and saw their eight-game unbeaten run come to an end.
Their only real chances came in the first half when Raul Jimenez glanced a header off target and Matt Doherty scuffed a shot wide of the near post.
Huge celebrations for rare win
Huddersfield’s bleak situation at the bottom of the table means this win will still likely be in vain in terms of their Premier League survival but the emotional scenes showed how much the three points meant to Siewert, the players and the fans.
Siewert’s previous four games in charge ended in defeats to Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle and, after the latter, the German heavily criticised his players, calling for more fight.
He made eight changes to play Wolves, including recalling Mounie and handing fellow forward Karlan Grant a first start for the club, and the players responded.
Huddersfield started with high intensity, preventing Wolves gaining an early foothold in the game, and, in the second half, the hosts dominated, creating the only real chances.
The only part of their performance that was lacking was Huddersfield’s finishing in front of goal, a familiar theme this season for the league’s lowest scorers under both Siewert and previous manager David Wagner.
Mounie had been as guilty as any of his team-mates but when the ball fell to him while he was on the floor in the six-yard box, he managed to complete the finish.
It remains to be seen whether the three points can spark a push for survival with 10 games remaining.
“I told you right from the beginning. I know it won’t be easy but we keep on fighting,” Siewert said.
“You can calculate the number of games. There is still a chance. It would be good. I would enjoy that.”
The 36-year-old also said he had never doubted whether he had made the right decision in joining Huddersfield from Borussia Dortmund’s second team last month.
“I never thought that,” he said.
“I know my players. I have really enjoyed working with them.
“It is more how do I get them in lucky moments. Today we found some solutions and I am so proud.”
Wolves a real disappointment
A point for Wolves would have seen Nuno Espirito Santo side’s achieve their highest points total in a Premier League season.
They will still reach that milestone in the remaining games but their performance at the John Smith’s Stadium must rank as one of their worst since returning to the top-flight last summer.
They failed to have a shot on target and played little of their slick, attacking football.
Their unbeaten run has been impressive but this defeat follows back-to-back draws in the league.
Nuno said afterwards that his team must “bounce back” to ensure there is no repeat performance at the weekend.
“It was a tough game and it wasn’t one of the best performances we had but credit to Huddersfield for fighting for each ball,” he said.
“We came from a good run but we have to bounce back. We are very cautious that what happened today cannot happen again.”
Man of the match – Karlan Grant (Huddersfield)
Wolves’ Huddersfield woe – the best stats
- 79% (11/14) of the Premier League points won by Huddersfield this season have come against newly-promoted teams – six vs Wolves, three vs Fulham and two vs Cardiff.
- Wolves have lost eight of their last nine away league matches against Huddersfield.
- Six of Huddersfield’s last nine Premier League wins have come against teams beginning with W – two apiece against Watford, West Brom and Wolves.
- All five of Huddersfield’s clean sheets in the Premier League this season have been against newly-promoted teams – two vs Cardiff and Wolves and one vs Fulham.
- Huddersfield Town are one of four sides that Nuno Espirito Santo has faced more than once as Wolves boss in all competitions without winning, along with Man City, Sunderland and Swansea City.
- Wolves named an unchanged starting XI for the 12th time in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.
- Wolves have lost seven of their 12 Premier League matches against teams starting the day bottom.
- Steve Mounie scored just his second Premier League goal of the season for Huddersfield, with both of his goals coming at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Both sides’ next games are at 15:00 GMT on Saturday. Wolves host Cardiff while Huddersfield travel to Brighton.