Mark looking to build on win over Leeds
Mark Robins has challenged his players to maintain the high standards they set themselves in their last outing when high-flying Hull City come to town on Saturday.
Town’s team have put in some impressive performances since Robins took charge of the team in mid-February, notably during the wins over Middlesbrough, Burnley and Leeds, and now the Manager wants his team to deliver those displays on a more consistent basis – starting this weekend.
“I think the Leeds game was a good performance, but we’ve played pretty well in the wins over Middlesbrough and Burnley and then we follow it up with a performance that wasn’t great, like against Charlton. We’re looking for more consistent performances of the type we put in at Leeds,” Mark told htafc.com.
“The supporters were delighted with that result and it was important, but we have to keep picking points up. If we can play with the same intensity and commitment, which we have shown we are capable of, we will be absolutely fine – and good to watch.
“Quality is really important, but it doesn’t generally rise too high if you don’t have the commitment and work ethic to go with it. Our players have shown that we are a handful when they all go hand in hand.”
The Hull game will be Town’s first game in a fortnight due to the international break and Robins explained that this has given some of the players the opportunity to recover from small injury issues.
“You have to make the best use of the time you have available during the international break, but it has coincided with horrendous snow and that has hampered things.
“We’ve used in the best way we could. One or two were carrying knocks and niggles and we’ve been able to get them assessed, treated and rehabilitated in the time we’ve had.
“We managed to clear an area of the Canalside pitches to work on this Tuesday – the scholars actually had to clear an area for us to train on and did unbelievably well, because as they were working the snow was coming down in buckets again.
“We did some indoor work – both football wise and on strength and conditioning – on Monday and it has been testing, just as it will have been for everyone else in the area. We had a breather on Wednesday ahead of being back in on Thursday and Friday. It’s important we get an area of grass to work on.”
Striker Jermaine Beckford will come back into the squad having built on his comeback from injury as a substitute at Elland Road with over 100 minutes on the pitch for Jamaica during the last week.
Mark continued: “Jermaine played his first game for his country against Panama and both he and Theo have got minutes under their belts. Jermaine has a sore hand – he has a slight crack in his bone – but he is ok and it won’t prevent him from playing.
“Murray Wallace was away with the Under-21s, although he didn’t play, and Joel and Ollie have been away without getting on. However, they will have done decent work and they’ve come back unscathed. They should all be in contention for Saturday’s game, which is important.”
More good news for Robins is that experienced midfielder Keith Southern shouldn’t be on the sidelines for too much longer:
“I’m hoping Keith will be back as soon as possible, but that may mean two to three weeks. There’s not a huge amount of time left in the season, but I’ll be happy to have him when he’s back as he’s a big player for us.
“He would be a core player in your side, but the form of the other midfielders has been generally good. We have quite a good number of talented midfielders and the likes of Oscar Gobern, who has come back from injury as well, has taken his chance pretty well at the moment; I’m enjoying seeing what he is capable of producing. He’ll keep improving as he goes along. We also have the likes of Norwood, Danns and Clayton around too who are good at this level.”
Saturday’s opponents Hull have enjoyed a great season so far and will arrive in Huddersfield sat second in the League table.
“Hull will be another tough game,” Mark admitted. “They play in a certain way that can cause problems, but we want to look at ways of causing them problems. It’s one of those local games and the television crew is coming to town, so people might raise their game. It’s a good, interesting game for us and we want to make it an evening to remember for us.”
Mark’s opposite number at Hull, former Town Manager Steve Bruce, is an old teammate from their days at Manchester United:
“I encountered quite a lot of Steve when he was playing against me – certainly his right boot! We played together at Manchester United and he was a real competitor and a good player as well. He’s a good guy and has done brilliantly well; it’s no surprise that he has Hull fighting at the right end of the table.”
Rather than looking down the table, Robins is looking up as the Terriers look to improve their position of 16th in the npower Championship table by taking points off the Tigers on Saturday.
“We have 24 points to play for, so we have to pick up as many points as we can. If we can play and perform in the manner we have done in the games we’ve spoken about, we will be fine. We want to pick points up from every game and the next two are tough, so we have to be at the top of our game.
“We’re aware of our position, but I’m quite happy with the way things are progressing. With eight games to go we are in a mid-table cluster and that would be a great result for us this season. We want to build on performances game on game with one eye on the future.
“There are plans in place for next season; they change on a daily basis for various reasons. We’re not drifting too far away from the immediate focus though, which is on performances and results. If we can get those right more often than not at the high level they have shown, I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
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