Manager Mark previews Bradford clash
Huddersfield Town Manager Mark Robins knows there is more to come from his players – and he wants them to show it when they host Bradford City in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
The Terriers lost a tightly contested opening day fixture at Nottingham Forest on Saturday and will be looking to record their first victory of the season against the Bantams in the First Round of the League Cup.
“We’re ok. There were no real problems from Saturday; a few bumps and bruises perhaps, but nothing major. We’ve been preparing this morning for what is going to be a good, exciting game,” Mark told htafc.com.
Although his team showed great organisation and discipline against a favourite for promotion at the weekend, Mark admitted he wants more from his team – particularly going forward.
“We defended really well for the most part; we got bodies in good positions and frustrated the life out of Forest, apart from the one move where they managed to get the breakthrough. That was disappointing, because we didn’t see it through and it now feels like we threw the game away to a certain degree.
“We know that there is more to come from us in an attacking sense – and there has to be. We must have a real desire to go and score goals and run beyond the opposition.
“We know it is a difficult league. Maybe people looked at it last season and couldn’t understand how we found ourselves in that position, but the truth was we hadn’t done the job right throughout the season.
“For me, our start on Saturday was ok. However, ok isn’t good enough for us. We need to make sure we’re contributing at both ends of the pitch. We must have a real desire to defend when we don’t have the ball and when we win it back, we need a desire to create chances and excite our supporters.
“There is going to be a change in style and change in how we do things. On Saturday, we took the easy option of going from back to front on too many occasions. You don’t control the game when you do that. Throughout pre-season we tried to pass the ball and it’s interesting that we didn’t against a decent Forest side.
“I’ll take everything on the chin, because I want the team to pass it. Ultimately changing the way that we play is my responsibility. It would be easy for me, when we come up against difficult opposition, to get the team to kick it from back to front and play off second balls, but that doesn’t work for me. I am a firm believer that we have to change the way we approach things, but that is difficult and will take a little bit of time. We must persevere with it, but at the same time we must get results. I stand by my beliefs and I firmly believe playing that football will get the results we need.”
In order to implement this passing style of play, Robins asked for the backing of the Town faithful:
“I need the supporters with us as well. Sometimes we have to be patient, because we are coming up against teams that are sometimes better than us on the day and on those days we have to get the bodies behind the ball as we know we can do. We saw that on Saturday and that was a real positive, but we must succeed in attacking in a good fashion at the same time.
“I want the supporters to know the team has put a good shift in for them after every game and that we care about winning games. Ultimately that is what I’ll deliver, but we need patience from the supporters.
“We have discerning fans at this Club; they have a good knowledge of the game. They have a real thirst for knowledge and the Club is great at keeping our fans up to date with everything. They know what we’re trying to do, but I want them to see it. We’re working so hard and there is a lot of passion and determination behind the scenes.”
As First Round Cup ties go, playing a local derby against last season’s beaten finalists is a challenging and exciting one, as Mark explained:
“Every game is important and we want to win every one of them – there’s no two ways about it. The players have the opportunity to set the tone and put themselves in good stead for the season. We want to get that winning habit, starting against the team that got to the final in this competition last season as well as getting promoted.
“Bradford have momentum and have good players in their team; I wouldn’t mind one or two of them in my team. They are a tough side and we have to be aware of that. We have to compete, as they will give us a physical challenge.
“I was really pleased for Phil (Parkinson); he’s done brilliantly. He’s re-established himself as a manager after being out of the game for a little while, but there will be no favours given on either side tomorrow in a local derby. There are bragging rights at stake and we want to come out on top.
“They are a good side and we have to be on our game. We will have to move the ball quickly and do things with a purpose.”
Town fans can pay on the day for Tuesday night’s game – click HERE for full admission info!