Chris previews Saturday’s game
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell believes the Club’s next three games will be a good barometer of the progress the team has made in recent weeks.
Town will soon play another three games in an eight day period; after Nottingham Forest’s visit to the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday, Town face consecutive away trips to high-flying Derby County and resurgent Fulham.
“We’ve trained well. After three games in eight days I have given one or two players extra time to recover and get over knocks they are carrying, but we look well and we’re looking forward to a tough group of fixtures, starting with Nottingham Forest on Saturday,” Chris told htafc.com.
“This next week is a good barometer for us as we play Forest, Derby and Fulham. I watched Fulham play Derby this week. In the last three game spell we got five points and seven in the one before, so I want to keep that going. It will be a real test of our capabilities, but it’s one I feel we can manage. We want to raise the bar and show people we mean business, starting on Saturday.”
One player who Powell has available once again is midfielder Duane Holmes, who has been recalled from his loan at Bury. However, Chris explained that it is up to the Academy graduate to impress in training first.
“Duane wasn’t getting as much game time as we envisaged, but of course this was his second loan spell and it’s as much about the experience and setbacks of not playing. Bury have been doing quite well and it was hard for him to break in, so we thought it was right for Duane to come back and get going again with us. It was a mutual decision between us and Bury.
“I haven’t seen a lot of him. I’ve spoken to him a couple of times during the course of his loan and I saw him briefly when he made his mark against Blackpool last season, making the goal for James Vaughan. He’s a young, local lad and he has to impress me in training to get his chance.”
Powell is definitely still without striker James Vaughan, who has travelled to the Midlands to continue his recovery from a calf injury.
“James is actually at St. George’s Park. We’ve sent him there for a week to give him a change, as coming into the same place and doing the same thing can become quite monotonous. (Town physio) James Haycock felt it would be good for James to hear a different voice and they have superb medical facilities there that will really push him along, such as an underwater treadmill.
“Hopefully this will give him a boost. We’ve had regular reports and he’s coming along ok, but I wouldn’t like to put a timeframe on his return; that would be unfair. Hopefully when he comes back next week we’ll have some progress. It’s important for everyone that we don’t rush him back and that we get it right.”
Saturday’s opponents Nottingham Forest will arrive in West Yorkshire on the back of an eight game winless run, but Powell stressed that should not disguise the quality the visitors possess.
“In the Championship, good or poor runs can end at any time.
“Forest has a Manager who knows the game; knows how to coach and knows how to manage a team and they set the early pace. They have quality and we know that can come out at any time, so regardless of the run they’ve been on it will end. They have a number of very good players at this level.
“It’s up to us to impose ourselves on what will be a lively game. It’s a good one for us on the back of what we’ve been doing. Hopefully I will have the boys prepared to go out and win.”
Powell finished by hailing the support that Town fans have given his side over the recent seven game unbeaten run.
“I’ve only had nine games, but I think you have to embed yourself in your club as soon as you can. You have to feel what the fans are feeling and let them know by engaging with everyone. That’s important for me as I’ve come to a Club and an area that I didn’t really know.
“I hope the fans know how I feel about them, their Club and the support I’ve had, especially of late. We didn’t win at Blackburn or Ipswich, but the support afterwards was almost like we had; I like that. It’s important the fans know that the staff and the fans appreciate that.
“I think they can see what we’re trying to do. We want always get things right, but I think they can see a group of players that care. I won’t accept anything less than their all, which is what they’re giving. We saw that at 2-0 down last Saturday.
“Ultimately, the only way you can keep people happy is by getting results. I’m trying to keep that going.”
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