Chris previews Saturday’s trip to Fulham
Chris Powell is keen to ensure that Tuesday night’s defeat to Derby County was just a blip and hopes that his Town side can return to winning ways as it faces Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
The defeat was Town’s first in eight games and Powell explained that the mood is still good within the squad and there is a strong will to put it right this weekend.
“Over the course of the season you will have mishaps and games were it doesn’t go for you. On Tuesday there was still that commitment and a will to try and get something from the game. We’re building a character trait in the side,” Chris told htafc.com.
“I went in to the changing rooms (after the game) and no-one said a word. I thought that was good; we hadn’t felt this feeling for a long time and that bodes well for the future.
“It’s been about recovery this week; we’ve kept training as light as we can and will do before we travel down, but they’ll get the message and know exactly what I’m after.
“We want to show everyone it was just a blip against a side that have good experience in this league and a good way of playing. We’re just getting going and that’s what we aspire to be. We want to be an established side in the Championship.
“The driving force for us tomorrow is to show people what we’re about and that we can respond. We just want to go in to the Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday with a really positive result. Three points at Fulham would be great for us and put us in a position to be proud of what we’ve done in the first third of the season.”
After a poor start to the season, Fulham’s results have picked up lately under new boss Kit Symons and the Cottagers are unbeaten in their last five Championship games.
Powell says that the form of Saturday’s opponents has a similarity with Town’s this season, and that they are side better than their current position of 21st in the Championship.
“I know Kit and I’m really pleased for him. He’s done well with the Academy and deserves his chance; it was a bit of a no-brainer with the mayhem that has been going on there.
“It’s a club I know well; they’ve settled down and they’ve spent a lot of money in areas. They’ve got (Ross) McCormack and Scott Parker who I know well from playing. They do have a squad that will no doubt be competitive; they’re now getting wins and confidence, which will get the crowd back on side.
“I suppose what’s happening down there is a mirror image of what’s happening here. It will be a good test and I believe we’re going to have a really good following, which I’m looking forward to. We want to put on a performance for the travelling fans.”
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Powell also added that he felt the reason for Town’s recent good form had been the team’s consistent hard work, as well as the strong spine in the starting XI.
“We showed it in the seven games unbeaten and even on Tuesday against a very good team. When you add players like Harry Bunn who show the attitude and character that I want on a consistent basis it’s encouraging. We’ve now got a spine in the team in Conor Coady, Jacob Butterfield, Mark Hudson, Joel Lynch, Alex Smithies and Grant Holt. The spine is there and we are strong in the wide areas and full-back positions.
“I want a squad who know what I’m about and on the training field and the pitch we’re getting there. I want our fans to believe in the team and trust me. I trust the players and I’ve got to know what they want. The fans have been excellent and we’ve got to show that we are going to represent the shirt in the right way.”
In-form winger, Sean Scannell, also came in for special praise from Powell, as the Manager said that the former Crystal Palace player’s performances have been a joy to watch recently.
“The young man has done it himself. I’m not here to take all the plaudits. I remember a supporter saying something to me before my first game about Sean (Scannell) – asking why I didn’t let him go to Millwall. I said I felt that there’s a match winner in there and someone I want to give a chance to. I’ve shown him a bit of love in the right way and he’s responded.
“We’ve already got assists and goals out of him and our job now is to get it out of him consistently. A fit and flying Sean Scannell – like the way he played against Forest and Blackpool – is what the fans want to see. People love seeing it, and I do, even though I was a full-back! It’s what you pay your money for; you like to see skilful players.”
Can't make it to Fulham on Saturday? watch Town's Under-18s in action against Coventry from 11.30am at PPG Canalside