Robins comments on the draw with Newcastle
Huddersfield Town Manager Mark Robins was pleased with what he saw from all 22 players during tonight’s 2-2 home draw against Premier League Newcastle United.
“It was a good workout. We played two teams in each 45 minutes as I didn’t want to overstretch the players just four days from the start of the season. It also gave us the chance to get as many players as possible time on the pitch against Premier League opposition.
“I thought we did ok in the first-half and scored a good goal. We did ok in the second-half as well; there was actually a little bit more attacking threat in fairness. That sometimes happens when you have a bit of youth in your side; they feel less pressure and have a real go. We caused them a few problems.
“As soon as we saw the team-sheet, we knew it would be a workout. That was exactly what we needed. We’ll give the players a day to recover tomorrow and then they’ll be back at PPG Canalside on Thursday and Friday ahead of the game on Saturday. Tonight was a really good test and we’ve come through ok.”
Mark was particularly impressed with the youthful side that played the second 45 minutes.
“I loved watching some of the younger players who have come in tonight and shown exactly what they are capable of doing. It would be different to put them into a League game where there is more pressure, but the Championship is manic in its nature and it’s good to get them a taste of the action.
“There are some good players in that group. Even though it was only 45 minutes, it was against strong, physical, Premier League opposition and I think they ran out of stream a bit towards the end. It was good for them to play against the standard they should aspire to.
“There was also a really good cameo from Jon Stead; he was excellent. He’s worked his socks off in pre-season and I was pleased to see him ‘at it’ tonight. He was strong and gave us an outlet by getting hold of the ball – and he took his goal really well.”
With the season-opener at home to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, the Manager explained that he has given his players the incentive of earning a place through their performance tonight for Town’s first competitive game.
“I’ve told all the players that they have to try and earn a place. It’s a new season and it’s a new start for everybody. I’m looking for players that are honest, capable, with a degree of knowledge about the game that will give me commitment and work ethic. If we work harder than the opponents at all times, we will hit the ground running and achieve the targets we’ve set this season.”
Town’s second-half side also included former Leicester City man Sean St Ledger; the Republic of Ireland centre back having trained with the Club for around a week.
Mark commented: “Sean has been out for a long time. This isn’t a trial to see if he can play at this level as he clearly can, but rather a test of his mechanics. He talks really, really well (on the pitch) did himself no harm tonight – he looked competent.”
The squad was missing the likes of Anthony Gerrard, Adam Clayton, James Vaughan, Martin Paterson, Oscar Gobern and Harry Bunn through a combination of injuries and knocks.
Mark concluded: “We still have players on the sidelines tonight that would make a big, big difference to what we can produce on the pitch and we have to make sure we are as competitive as we can possibly be on any given day.
“Those players will need some more time, so whether we can get them ready for the weekend remains to be seen. I remain hopeful.”
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