Robins comments on Peterborough draw
Huddersfield Town Manager Mark Robins was disappointed his side couldn’t hang on for all three points against Peterborough United, but was happy to see the point lift his side out of the npower Championship relegation zone.
“It’s a good point at the end of the game, but we’re disappointed that it’s not all three. It could have been worse and it could have been better,” Mark told htafc.com post-match.
“We’ve tried to play and pass and we’ve done alright, but we were better in the first half than in the second, when we faded a little bit. I tried to make a positive change to try and give us that impetus and we got it from a set play; from our perspective it was a good goal. However, they got a carbon copy of that goal right at the death. It is disappointing that we couldn’t see the game out.
“I chose to go with one striker, which was difficult. I knew the perception of the supporters would be that was negative, but that wasn’t the case. We wanted to nullify their threat and we did for the most part, certainly in the first half. In the second half they came into things more, but we had opened up as I brought Oscar off to get Beckford on and see if we could nick the goal.
“Then we didn’t have that person on to shore out the middle of the pitch and as a consequence they got a little bit on top and knocked us back about 20 yards, which was disappointing.
“In all fairness this was difficult; it was a tough, tough game. Peterborough are in really good form at the moment and you have to respect that. However, I thought we took the game to them and tried to pass it.
“There were a lot of positives in the game. The crowd were brilliant, because it could have easily turned the other way and I’m grateful for that. We need them with us to push from now to the end of the season.
“There will be plenty of twists and turns between now and the end of the season and we saw a few today.”
Dwight Gayle’s late header salvaged the point for the Posh in the closing stages of the game, finding the corner of Alex Smithies’ net. Robins explained why he chooses not have men on the posts at set pieces.
“We prefer to try and get people in positions where they can clear the ball out, plus it was an out-swinging corner. It’s a debate whether or not you put people on posts or ensure gaps are filled near men. For me the latter is the most important thing as men score goals, so if we take care of them and attack the ball properly it doesn’t go anywhere near our goal.
“When it goes in like that, the debate opens up – it’s sod’s law. However, we have to continue in that vein and make sure people take responsibility with their men.”
Robins had to make three changes to his starting XI due to a trio of injuries suffered during the week.
“It was tough. We lost Danny Ward yesterday and we knew Anthony Gerrard would be touch and go with an injury he picked up in Tuesday night’s game. We also knew Jack Hunt had no chance of playing in this game, but that is football and you have to respond – that’s what a squad is for.
“Murray Wallace got his chance and scored a goal, so that takes him forward in terms of experience. Scotty Arfield, who has missed out on the bench in the last few weeks, came in and put a real shift in with a bit of quality in there. He got himself into one or two great positions in the first half, but I wish he would settle himself quickly before he shoots so he doesn’t pull the ball.
“Hopefully Anthony will be alright for the weekend, whereas the outcome of Jack’s scan was ok – we hope to have him back as soon as possible.
“Danny’s injury may be a little bit different. He hurt his groin right at the end of training, funnily enough when we were practising our set pieces, so he will be out for a little while.”
Robins also reserved some words for Captain Peter Clarke; after making a costly error at Bolton during the week, the skipper came up with two superb goal-line clearances in a typically robust performance this afternoon.
“He’s done it all season, certainly since I’ve come in. We need to recognise the fact that he is a warrior for this Club and a real leader. We need him to lead like that from now until the end of the season.
“He’s a strong character in the mould of past Huddersfield Town Captains and stalwarts. Those types of personalities are few and far between.”
The point was enough to lift the Terriers out of the bottom three on Saturday afternoon and now his side is out of the relegation zone, Robins’ aim is simple – to stay out!
“That’s a positive – it’s magnificent. We were devastated to be in there for a week, but now we are out I have told the players we do not go back in. That has to be the aim from now until the end of the season, starting with the game at Wolves next week.”