Chris previews Tuesday’s game against Brighton
Chris Powell knows his Huddersfield Town side is still a work in progress, but he’s delighted with the standards the players have set ahead of Tuesday’s game against Brighton.
Powell’s men have taken 10 points from a possible 12 over the last four games, with Saturday’s opening 30 minute salvo arguably the best yet under his management.
“I thought our attacking play was exceptional; I hope to see that on a regular basis,” Chris explained. “The boys have got a level to attain to now and, although there were a few minutes of the game that I didn’t like, our attacking verve, our ability to create and our ball retention were very good.
“We’re a work in progress still, as it’s only been seven games, but it’s very pleasing that they’ve taken on board what I like to see. They know the certain things I don’t like to see too. I’ve got to say to a man, the 11 that started on Saturday were outstanding and I’m sure our fans were purring after 20 minutes.
“We need to manage certain moments better, but without a doubt some of the football was really good and I’m a very proud man – for the first half an hour anyway.”
Town let Blackpool back into the game with a sloppy five minutes before the interval on Saturday, but Chris was happy with how his side responded in the second 45 minutes.
“Questions will be asked of the team and it’s about how we answer them. There was one question thrown at us on Saturday and answered it when Jacob Butterfield scored to make it 4-2. The players rode through the storm, got the fourth goal and actually could’ve got more.
“Questions will be asked of the team throughout the season, from me, from the supporters, from the media. They’re going to have to handle that. A number of the players are quite young and it’s good for them to go through it as early as possible, because it will make them better players in the future.”
One player taking a lot of the plaudits for his performance at the weekend was winger Sean Scannell, who notched two assists and was a constant threat.
Chris continued: “Sean is a player that I’ve been aware of for a long time, from his time at Crystal Palace. I did enquire about him when I was at Charlton, but it never got anywhere.
“It’s very easy for people to tell me that he hasn’t done it here before my arrival and that’s fine; everyone has opinions. They would’ve seen him in more games than me.
“However, I knew there was something there with the player I’ve seen over the years and there is talent there, no doubt.
“He has all the attributes to be a match-winner, to create, to score. I’ve given him a platform.
“I saw fleeting moments when he came on against Wigan and when he started against Leeds, but then at the Millwall game he came on and the crowd really enjoyed his 10 minute cameo. I got him in against Wolves and he we exceptional – he scored his goal – and then at Blackburn I saw another side to his play. I actually thought it was going to be a tough game for him, but he kept going and kept going. He encapsulated what I want from the team in that performance.
“On Saturday it was just a performance of pure ability. It was an edge of the seat performance for the supporters. I was standing there marvelling, actually just thanking God that I wasn’t Blackpool’s left-back! I’ve played in that position and I was just thinking, ‘I’m glad I’m not 20 years younger and wearing the orange of Blackpool’.”
Scannell and his teammates face perennial promotion contenders Brighton & Hove Albion at the John Smith’s Stadium on Tuesday evening, with Manager Powell keen for his side to be at its best against an opponent that has endured a tough time of late.
“Brighton has been in the Play-Offs for the last two seasons. They’re progressing the right way as a Club. Sami (Hyypia) has come in and it’s been a bit of a change for him, but they’ve missed one or two key players and they might say they haven’t got going yet. They have some very good players and I’m sure they will feel they should be better off.
“They’ll get there, because they are a side that is well backed. They have superb facilities, a good Chairman and I know the coaching staff there.
“However, it hasn’t happened for them as yet and it’s up to us to keep it that way. They have a style of football they tend to play and we have to be on our guard; we can’t let it down. I’ll make sure we don’t. They are a footballing side who try to be expansive at times.
“The players came in today already thinking about their game, which is exactly what I want. We can’t think too far ahead. We’d love to have had the whole week to bask in the glory of winning and scoring four goals at home, but now we have to do it again. That’s what our fans want.
“I won’t tolerate anything other than trying to play at the level we reached on Saturday, regardless of the opposition. We’ll give Brighton the respect they deserve, but it’s about us and how we apply ourselves. We’re at home and it’s up to us to force the issue and show the desire that we’ve had in abundance recently.”
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