Simon looking for a response against Bolton
Town boss Simon Grayson is looking for a response from his players against Bolton this Saturday following back to back defeats.
After securing a late point against Charlton two weeks ago, the Terriers have lost two on the bounce against Middlesbrough and Leeds United respectively.
“We are disappointed with the way that things have gone,” said Simon. “The most disappointing factor is the way that we have lost and the manner of the defeats. We haven’t come out fighting or played anywhere near as good as we can do. You can’t fault the players for their effort, but in both games we lacked a bit of quality and spark to get us back into the games.
“We have had a couple of good training sessions since Saturday and a chat during midweek to talk about things and the players are totally focused on what they have to do. Without realising players can get carried away and believe they have achieved things and I think the last couple of games have shown us that we are not the finished article. We have never made out that we are and we know that there is a lot of work to be done for us to get back on track.”
Grayson continued: “There is a lot of determination within the group to get things back to the way they were. I think on occasions the players have been a little naïve and it is now down to them to take on the responsibility and do something to affect the next couple of games. In the second half against Leeds none of our 11 won their individual battles and you have to do that in the npower Championship.”
Town's opponents this weekend currently sit 18th in the npower Championship following a defeat against Ipswich last weekend.
“Bolton has got a wealth of experience in its squad, who have played at the highest level. They have got some top, top players and I am sure because of that they will be disappointed with where they are in the League. They have got different expectancy levels to us; our aim is to stay in the league where their aim is to get out of it. We are well aware of their threats; they have got a lot of very good players.”
Town’s poor form of late has coincided with Keith Southern’s suspension and Simon admitted that the central midfielder has been a big loss.
“We have missed him; there is no getting away from that. His know-how in the middle of the park has been vital for us this season. His suspension has given other players an opportunity to impressive such as Chris Atkinson who did a good job last weekend. We have suffered the consequences of him not being in the starting eleven and we can’t wait to have him back in another week’s time. Chris has got a good chance of being involved this Saturday. Everybody has though because the fixtures are going to be tough on the squad and everyone needs to be ready for when they are called upon.
“We are getting players back bit by bit. James Vaughan played a little on the weekend and has trained all week, as has Sean Scannell. Jermaine Beckford is making progress with his hamstring injury so from a week ago the squad is starting to have a bit more depth to it. I believe that we have got enough quality to get results over the next couple of weeks and for the remainder of the season.”
There was one piece of bad news on the injury front concerning central defender Joel Lynch.
“Joel is a doubt; he picked up a hamstring injury against Leeds and hasn’t trained all week – we will assess him on Friday and Saturday. Simon told htafc.com”
Town was drawn against Charlton in the Third Round of the FA Cup last Sunday – a tie Simon described as very winnable.
“Every team would have like a big Premier League team either home or away and we were no different, I’m sure Charlton would have also wanted the same.
“It isn’t the most eye catching of ties, but I think the draw itself hasn't really put together any showpiece games. We know all about Charlton having played against them recently, but we will come across that bridge when it arrives – we have got a lot of games before that tie.”