Chris preview’s Saturday’s game against Brentford
Chris Powell has called upon his team to maintain its impressive home form when high-flying Brentford comes to Huddersfield on Saturday.
Town completed last Saturday’s game at Bolton without Joel Lynch or Sean Scannell, who were both withdrawn during the 90 minutes due to injury. Powell gave an update on their availability in his press conference on Thursday:
“They are coming on.
“We’ve managed to get Sean outside on the grass. He got his dead leg right at the end of the game and he is recovering quite quickly, so let’s hope he gets through tomorrow and will be right and ready for Saturday.
“We’re still not entirely sure about Joel’s availability.”
Powell also gave an update on longer-term injury victims Harry Bunn (thigh) and Joe Murphy (foot):
“Harry will more or less be the time scale we expected (three weeks).
“I think Joe will be a bit longer from what I’ve seen. It’s a shame after Joe waited for his chance, because within a game he’s back to square one. Hopefully he will be right for the New Year or maybe the end of this year.
“You always hope you don’t get any injuries, but invariably you get a few knocks. It’s a chance for one or two to make a claim and try and make a difference for us trying to get a result again.
“We’ve got some of the other lads who have been out for a while some minutes. James Vaughan got a half (for the Under-21s) the other night, just to get him under match conditions again. We’ve done it with Adam Hammill, Joe Lolley and Anthony Gerrard and that’s the right thing to do, because if you’ve been out for so long you can train but it is about playing games and getting yourself and your body back into the hustle and bustle of 90 minutes.”
One man back fit and pushing for a start is winger Joe Lolley, as Chris explained:
“He’s a real raw talent. You can see why he would’ve caught the eye playing at Conference level; he’s very quick.
“He needs to understand the game and the role of a professional, because he’s just been thrown in. It looks as if he plays ‘off the cuff’ football and you don’t want him to lose that as its part of what he is, but also you’ve got to get him to understand the game; how to manage yourself,
“We’re getting there with him. People wanted to see his talent straight away here and rightly so, but he’s suffered because of it. We’re getting him out on the training field regularly now, which is good. I watched him on Monday night against Sheffield Wednesday (for the Under-21s) and he was excellent, so he’s getting there.”
Chris explained that he wants as many create forces – like Lolley – in his team, but he has to strike a balance:
“We’ve got creative players before you even look at those guys that haven’t played; look at the likes of Sean Scannell, Jacob Butterfield, Conor Coady and Tommy Smith, who has a number of assists from full back.
“The creative players are still there, but of course you do have to strike a balance.
“In the main we are creating chances. We need to take them because, as we saw at Bolton, that can be the difference on the day. We need to arrest that, because we want to feel good about ourselves.
“We know how quickly it has positively changed around for us before and that’s the Championship for you. It happened at the start when I came in. We managed to change it around for the better and we need to do so again now. We really need to keep believing in all the good stuff and do our best to arrest all the individual mistakes that we’ve made to get ourselves some points on the board again.
“We’ve just focused on keeping ourselves upbeat and looking forward to the games coming up.”
After a run of four games without a win, Powell highlighted some areas where his side needs to improve:
“I think its concentration levels - trying to perform at a good, consistent level for longer periods during games. Of course you accept that your opposition will put you under pressure and have moments in the 90 minutes, but that’s where you have to stay in the game. You have to manage those moments individually and collectively.”
Brentford are the visitors to the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday, when Powell wants his side to keep up its positive home form; Town are six games unbeaten on home soil.
Chris continued: “I’m happy with the home form, but obviously not as happy with the away form. Since my very first game against Middlesbrough, we haven’t lost at home; that’s something we can hold on to. Whatever opposition has come, we have managed to get a win or at minimum a draw. We need to keep that going.
“We’re good on our own patch, but on Saturday a team that is flying comes to town. We want to beat them and we know we can.”
On Saturday’s newly-promoted opponents Brentford, who are flying high in the Sky Bet Championship, Chris commented:
“I think they’ve carried the momentum through from last season. They’ve carried on and got some good results, so all of a sudden they find themselves in a position they’re enjoying.
“I know Mark (Warburton); he is enjoying the moment and they’ll want to continue that. We’ve been there this season, where you’re just getting results and you want the next game to come thick and fast - they’re there at the moment. The momentum and excitement of playing in the Championship is still with them.
“We’re going to have to perform. Physically we’re going to have to get out there and be right. We’re going to play against a good side, but we’ve done it before. We saw Forest come here - one of the division’s fancied sides - and we did particularly well. We know we can do that.
“Of course over 90 minutes anything can happen, especially in this division. We have to be focused and show the desire to get a result, because we need one. We know we can get results, particularly at home, and that’s something we will believe in.”
Watch Town take on Brentford for just £10 adults & £5 concessions - pay at the gate!
Town's Under-18s are also at home on Saturday - come down and watch as they host Nottingham Forest in an 11.30am kick-off at PPG Canalside