Smithies reflects on stalemate with Sheffield Wednesday
Alex Smithies believes that the Terriers can build on the clean sheet they kept against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday as they move into 2013 and the second half of the npower Championship season.
The goalkeeper – Town’s only remaining ever-present this term – helped to keep the Owls at bay with a smart first half save from Jeremy Helan and a late second half stop from substitute Mamady Sidibe, among various catches.
“I know we haven’t won the game, but after conceding so late on the other day when we thought we had snatched a win and a clean sheet I was really disappointed and my priority today was to come away with a clean sheet,” Alex told htafc.com.
“Unfortunately we’ve not been able to score – their ‘keeper made a good first half save (from Simon Church) – but I’m very pleased with a clean sheet, as it’s something to build on. If we continue to keep clean sheets, our strikers will take their chances.”
Smithies was the first to admit that Town are not on top form at the moment, but he believes their defensive resolve deserves credit.
“It’s difficult. Some days, for whatever reasons, you don’t produce. It’s annoying really. In the first half of the Boxing Day game we were really poor, but we managed to hold on right until the very end without conceding and you’ve got to show resilience like that, especially when you’re playing badly. If you can get a draw or a win when you’re not playing well that is something to build on. Hopefully we can improve on the performances now.”
The Academy graduate also believes that Town’s first win since the win at Barnsley in mid-November is just around the corner.
“With ‘Vaughany’ and ‘Becks’ up front we are going to score goals – there is no two ways about it. I think they are one of the best strike forces in the League and if we can give them the quality delivery they need to have shots and score, all the better. From the team’s point of view, we need to give them better delivery.”
The npower Championship tests don’t get any easier for Town – they face a difficult trip to Leicester City’s King Power Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Alex continued: “There is no respite at all – every game is massive and they are coming thick and fast. The lads are tired now, but it is the same for all teams. Leicester will be a tough game, but as today my aim is to keep a clean sheet and hopefully our strikers can do the rest.”
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