Simon prepared for tough Birmingham test
Simon Grayson believes his side can use the FA Cup victory over Charlton as a springboard going in to Saturday’s npower Championship clash with Birmingham.
The Terriers ended a run of ten games without a win with victory at the Valley and Simon was pleased with what he saw from his players.
“Whether we have turned a corner we will have to wait and see, but I saw a lot of encouraging signs from the players during the performance,” he said.
“There was a good work ethic about the players and they showed plenty of quality on the ball. Hopefully we can now kick on and use the victory as a springboard for the rest of the season.”
He continued: “It isn’t easy to play flowing attractive football because the pitches aren’t in the greatest of conditions at this time of the season. The goal we scored on the weekend was a very well executed move starting with Adam Clayton’s excellent 40 yard pass to Jermaine (Beckford) who took the ball down and finished well.
“There was a bit of relief after the victory, but we didn’t just nick the win. Our performance on the day was very good and I think Charlton only had about three shots on our goal, which shows how well we played defensively. There were a lot of encouraging signs from the game and on another day we could have won by three or four goals.”
The Blues have performed well of late despite having a squad decimated by injuries and Simon knows that his side are in for a difficult challenge.
“We know that we are in for a tough game on the weekend. Birmingham have got some very good players within their squad; they have had a few injury problems over the past few months which has meant they have had to turn to youth, but they need the points just as badly as us.”
He added: “We know all the strengths and weaknesses of Birmingham; we have done plenty of homework. Peter Clarke and Anthony Gerrard were outstanding for us at Charlton and I am more than confident that they will be able to deal with Birmingham’s attackers. Gerrard is playing at the top of his game at the moment and that is great from my point of view.”
Town added Neil Danns to its midfield unit on Tuesday, a player Simon knows a lot about.
“I was at Blackburn when he was making his first steps in to football and he was also at Blackpool when I was there. He is an infectious character who has got good quality; he is a very good professional who knows what is required at this level. He is a versatile player who can play anywhere across the midfield or just in behind the striker.”
On the remainder of the transfer window, he said:
“I think we will see where things go other the next few weeks. People can get excited by speculation and as a manager you want to give yourself the best opportunity, but if you look back we went heavily in to the market during the summer months. We spent money on Oliver Norwood, Adam Clayton, Anthony Gerrard and Keith Southern.”
One player who could be leaving Town is Adam Hammill as the winger’s loan deal is due to expire following the Birmingham game.
“I will sit down with Adam after the weekend and let him know what we are doing. I think he has done OK for us especially having had the court case hanging over his head for much of his time here. We have seen signs that there is a good player in Adam, so we will analyse the situation over the coming days and make a final decision.”
To finish, Simon provided an injury update on both Joel Lynch and Keith Southern.
“Joel will miss the weekend and Keith has been struggling with his achilles and although he is progressing well, he is still doubtful for the weekend.”