Chris reviews defeat to Birmingham City
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell has called on Town’s players, staff and supporters to stay strong following today’s 1-0 home defeat to Birmingham City.
Visiting winger David Cotterill’s second-half free-kick proved the difference in a tight encounter at the John Smith’s Stadium, which Chris felt was a stalemate throughout.
“It was a game and a day that should have ended 0-0. The teams were quite evenly matched; there wasn’t much going on compared to a lot of the home games we’ve had recently.
“It was one of those days when you take the 0-0 from an ugly game and move on, or one moment of quality would separate the two teams. Unfortunately it came from them instead of us.”
Chris changed the shape of his side to a 4-3-3 and recalled Anthony Gerrard and Lee Peltier to the starting XI, alongside fit-again Harry Bunn, as he explained:
“Obviously we needed a response from last week, but also needed to make sure we weren’t too open – we didn’t want a repeat of Saturday.
“I thought we started off in decent fettle and you’re looking for Grant Holt to take the chance he had in the six yard area; it was a decent save, but I’m greedy and I want us to score those to get a real foothold in the game.
“It didn’t go in and there was a lot of huff and puff as the two teams cancelled each other out. They did a bit of a job on Harry Bunn and Sean Scannell, who have been livewires for us.
“They started a bit stronger in the second-half, but we slowly got ourselves back in it. We still created the better chances; Joe Lolley worked the ‘keeper when he came on and I think we missed an open goal in a melee.
“It wasn’t a great day’s football, but at worst we should have come away with a 0-0 to move onto Boxing Day with.”
Of Birmingham’s winner – which came from a free-kick conceded by Gerrard after a loose passage of passing from the Terriers – Powell explained:
“Their goal was really of our own doing, because we played square instead of forward. That put us on the back foot, we commit the foul and then (David) Cotterill pops up with a wonder-goal. We’ve been punished and it’s happening quite a bit.
“Conor (Coady) shouldn’t have played the cross-field ball, but he’s a good young player that I have a lot of time for and I believe will have a good career.
“Jack Robinson naturally wants to keep the ball in, but if he’d left it we could have got back in shape and defend whatever Birmingham do from the throw-in. You could also say he was too wide; if he’d been narrower, he could have received the ball on the ground.
“You could keep going on and on, but the incident has happened and we didn’t deal with it in the right way; the pass, the header or the one-on-one defending. Whether it was clever play from (Clayton) Donaldson to run into Anthony Gerrard or not, who knows.”
James Vaughan got another run-out as a substitute on his return to fitness and Powell indicated that his chance to start a game will come.
“He’s been out a long, long time. He gets booked a lot. He wants to go out there and make his mark and sometimes that can be down to frustration, but you need to keep your energy for chances that come your way.
“The players all want to play and naturally they are disappointed when they’re not in the 11 or even the 18, but you have to move on. There’s still plenty of football and games to be played and their chance will come.”
Chris is now keen to put today’s disappointment behind him and refocus on Town’s next game; the Boxing Day Yorkshire derby at Rotherham United.
“We’ve got to stay strong and look at the Rotherham game now. It’ll be a big game as our fans are turning up there in numbers for a sell-out. We have to take something from it.
“We have to move on. Football, just like life, carries on. We’ll carry on here at Huddersfield Town. I know our fans will naturally be disappointed, like I am, but we have to keep battling. This is a game where fortune favours the brave and that’s what we have to be.
“We’ll face up to anything that comes our way, because that’s how football is. When you win you enjoy the plaudits, so you have to take criticism in equal measure and that is the point we’re at right now.
“We need to keep our heads held high and believe in one another, because if you lose that it can spell trouble. I still believe in them and I always will. We have some good players here, but it’s just not happening for them.
“We have to work terribly hard to turn that around. I’m striving and working as hard as I can, alongside the staff and our players, to make sure we turn things in our favour.”