Final friendly ‘good chance for everyone to claim a shirt’
Huddersfield Town Manager Mark Robins believes this Saturday’s pre-season friendly at Oldham Athletic is a great chance for the players to stake their claim for a place in the first XI.
The 3pm kick-off at Boundary Park is the First Team’s final game before the start of the Sky Bet Championship season at Nottingham Forest on Saturday 3 August and Mark explained that the emphasis this weekend is still on a mixture of match fitness and performance.
“I’m still looking to give people the opportunity to get minutes on the pitch,” Mark told htafc.com.
“Not by any stretch of the imagination will the starting eleven for the new season be the one that starts at Oldham on Saturday; it’s still a case of getting minutes into everyone’s legs.
“We’re still looking for a combination of fitness and performance. I’m not just looking at the result on Saturday; I’m looking for various things and the way in which we do things. I want people to work in the way we’ve asked them to, which they have been doing for the most part. However, there are still things we need to improve on.
“In terms of performance I want us to continue on from the performance against Real Betis on Wednesday night, because I thought there were some good signs. I still want us to be more solid and win the ball back better, so there is no change in our targets. We still put an emphasis on the attacking side of the game, but we are looking to tidy things up before the season starts.”
Mark did confirm that midfielder Oscar Gobern will be in the line-up on Saturday as he continues his pre-season build-up following his jaw injury.
“Oscar will start the game, as he needs the minutes in his legs. He got half the game against Real Betis, which was great for him.”
Robins could use the game against the Latics to have another look at Spanish trialist Cristian Lopez, who made an impression as a second-half substitute against Real Betis on Wednesday.
Mark continued: “We’ll have another look at Cristian on Saturday, but the focus is on next weekend and I need to get our players ready for the game at Nottingham Forest.”
Mark believes League 1 Oldham Athletic, now managed by Lee Johnson, will present his team with another great test:
“We’re all looking forward to it. I was raised around the corner from Oldham’s ground and I know they will be a good test for us; they have a new manager with new ideas and they’ll probably field new players.
“It’s a really good chance for everybody to put their marker down for a shirt.”
Town fans should pay at the gate for Saturday’s friendly at Oldham – click HERE for full admission info!