Town’s Manager previews Rotherham
Chris Powell wants the performance from his side to do the talking when the Terriers are back in action at Rotherham United on Boxing Day.
Town go into the Yorkshire derby following back-to-back losses; most recently the 1-0 home reversal against Birmingham City last weekend. Having analysed the game in the early part of the week, Powell gave his thoughts on the loss:
“After what happened at Carrow Road, we needed some solidity to get ourselves back in the game. We had that, but it wasn’t the most exciting of matches. We were slightly tentative, it was a bit flat and sadly for us we were beaten by a well-struck free-kick. Otherwise, Alex (Smithies) wasn’t really troubled.
“That will happen during the course of the season; unfortunately it can’t always be like the Nottingham Forest, Blackpool or Brentford performances, even if that is what you’re aiming to get to.
“Playing that 4-3-3 system before, we’ve score four goals against Blackpool and three goals at Wolves. I don’t see that as one up front – I see it as three up front when we have the ball, as a minimum. That’s not an excuse, but those same players have produced quality performances, created chances and taken them.
“You need a balance in your team. We have three very good midfielders who have dovetailed and worked really well together, as well as two wide players – Harry Bunn and Sean Scannell –who have been at the top of their game. That’s five players already, so it gives me a dilemma. It’s a nice one to have, but it means I have to take one or two players out of the side that I don’t want to.
“Understandably our fans will want us to come out ‘all guns blazing’ and that’s what I wanted, but sometimes that doesn’t come due to a lack of confidence. We’re striving to get that confidence back – and we all know that comes through results.
“I understand that when it doesn’t go for you, people will look at what you’ve done – that comes with the territory. Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn’t – that is football. I’m old enough to understand that. I have to look at what is best for us, but we’ll always have players out there to create and to score.
“I’ve always been an attacking Manager and in a lot of the games the fans have seen that. We’ll continue to do that, because it’s the only way to win games and get three points. I want us to go forward and win games.”
Town’s next chance to get back on track comes on Thursday in a sold-out Boxing Day derby in South Yorkshire – a game Powell is relishing.
“It’s a local derby and historically they are quite open affairs on Boxing Day, for whatever reason.
“We know it is all about our actions. I can talk for a long time, but really it is about action for our players now. We have work to do – we know that – and we have to go out there and do it.
“We’re going there as positively as we can, although it isn’t easy after the last two results. We need to show unity in these next two games to pull us through.
“Rotherham have slightly changed the way they’ve been playing. They’ve been quite a direct side last season and for the early part of this one too, but after bringing two or three in on loan they are marrying that with playing through the thirds. That is a recipe for a successful season and they’ve got a good win on the road last weekend.
“The New York Stadium will be jam-packed and bouncing and we’ll be ready for that. I know we’ve sold out our allocation and it will be good for them to see their team respond after a pretty poor performance in our last game.
“It’s a game that we want to start well in, because we want to come away with something from the game.”
Powell explained that Town are likely to go into the game without the services of Joel Lynch, although fellow defender Murray Wallace is back from suspension.
“Joel Lynch is slowly progressing, but I really don’t know when he will be available. I’d love him to come back into the mix because his performances, in the main, were very solid, but it’s taking time.
“We’re ok otherwise. We’ve got Harry (Bunn) back, which is a positive for the group, and Murray Wallace is available again. He’s a good character; I have a lot of time for him because he does things in the right way. He’s very diligent in how he works and he wants to learn.”