Boss Carlos Corberan admitted his relief after Huddersfield secured their Sky Bet Championship safety with a 1-1 draw at home to Coventry.
The teams could not be separated in a first half low on quality, and the Terriers – who have picked up fewer points in 2021 than any other Championship side – threatened through an early Josh Koroma chance and a golden opportunity for Richard Keogh, but both faltered in front of goal.
The visiting Sky Blues, in pursuit of a third consecutive away victory in the second tier for the first time since August 2007, began the second half promisingly, with Viktor Gyokeres twice denied by goalkeeper Ryan Schofield in quick succession.
Coventry’s persistence was rewarded in the 69th minute when substitute Jordan Shipley’s effort took a deflection to wrongfoot Schofield. However, their lead proved short-lived, with Ben Wilson dropping a deep corner into the path of Danny Ward, who snatched a late leveller to ensure Huddersfield’s safety.
Corberan said: “I think it’s a mix of feelings because we knew how important it was to get our target. We knew for a long time that we needed to keep the team in the Championship, and we were facing difficult moments that made us feel our target was more important every time.
“We played well in the first half but after they scored, I liked the reaction of the team, trying to get one point that was important because we didn’t want to finish the season at home losing the game.
“We wanted to be more aggressive in the second half and we changed some ideas and we were more balanced.
“But they had some good opportunities to score the goal and in one of these opportunities, they scored. After, we showed a good reaction that allowed us to take the result that we wanted.
“We arrived with a clear target that we wanted to get our target by ourselves with a win and we didn’t get it, but in the last part of the season we have suffered with many defeats and at the same time we need to appreciate that we kept the target without defeat.”
Coventry boss Mark Robins, who returned to the club he previously managed, said: “I’d have enjoyed it more if we’d have taken the three points.
“What I’ve enjoyed is watching my team playing more like my team. The second half was much better, we got a foothold, there were some decent opportunities and we deserved to win it.
“The goal came after some really decent play and the goal that we conceded was typical of what we do. It was really sloppy, so that’s disappointing and that’s something that we have to put right for next season.
“We’ll be working hard over the summer to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“With more on the game for them than us, there has to be something on the game, so we had to keep it up there in terms of our mentality.
“When there’s not that extra sort of pressure and without crowds, it makes a bit of a difference but I thought we tried to play, we did it in the right way and we deserve an enormous amount of credit for that.
“It’s just disappointing that we conceded a really poor goal.”