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POWELL: WE’RE ON OUR WAY

4 October 2014

Town’s Manager reviews the 0-0 draw at Blackburn

Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell was a happy man after today’s 0-0 Sky Bet Championship draw at Blackburn Rovers; a result that secured a seventh point from a possible nine in the last eight days.

The Terriers battled hard to secure the clean sheet and draw at Ewood Park and, after the game, Chris was proud of his players’ efforts.

“There are quite a few positives for me today, because it’s always a test of your players’ physical and mental attributes after a big win. When you come somewhere like Ewood Park, it really tests you and I knew they would have to respond after their disappointment against Rotherham on Tuesday. 

“For a 0-0, it was a good game – both sides had chances. 

“I’m definitely pleased with the clean sheet. I’ve just told the players that the defensive display was full of commitment and resilience. Sometimes those phrases are overused, but it’s exactly what you need. The first-half was quite even, but Blackburn was in the ascendancy for the first 20 minutes of the second-half and we had to dig in. 

“I’m particularly pleased for Alex (Smithies). ‘Keepers love clean sheets and I love them, because they mean I can get a point like we did today.  He made an outstanding save from Williamson. Sometimes, as a goalkeeper, you are not totally involved and then all of a sudden you get tested. He kept his concentration and made the saves. 

“Mark Hudson, Joel Lynch, Jack Robinson and Tommy Smith, along with Alex, had to do some very tough things today; Mark cleared one virtually off the line.” 

Powell changed the shape of his side again ahead of the game, bringing Nahki Wells in for the injured Jonathan Hogg (groin) and moving to 4-4-2.

“We had a quick turnaround and I knew we had a few knocks. ‘Hoggy’ came off against Wolves and was a worry. He had a test this morning and he wasn’t completely fit, but given who he is he was unsurprisingly willing to risk it. I actually took it out of his hands; if he broke down I’d have to use one of my subs and he could miss six weeks. We’re giving him the chance to be fit for Blackpool.

“I was looking to bring Nahki in anyway; I thought he would be fresh and I wanted to see him with ‘Holty’. The decision was kind of made for me. That’s the value of a squad; everyone is going to play their part.” 

Among those that played their part was the Town support, with 1,500 getting behind the players and celebrating with Powell and the team at the final whistle.

Chris continued: “The fans were terrific today; they came in numbers. I interact with them and I want my team to, because that’s the only way we can move forwards.”

Powell’s men now go into the international break with momentum after two wins and a draw in the last three games. 

“We came back strongly and could have possibly nicked it, but I have to be happy with seven points from our last three games. 

“Winning the home game as we did against Millwall was vital for us, because now nobody can talk about the home record. That helped our confidence going into the big game against Wolves. 

“Confidence is a wonderful thing. When players have it, they go that extra yard. I’ve been asking that of them and they’re doing it. The likes of Sean Scannell got back and defended like a right back, but seconds later he’s winning us a corner – that’s what you have to do. If you don’t, you do not win – it’s as simple as that. 

“I’m still new to the Club and the area, but this is a good fit – I feel good and I feel comfortable. I’ll have a smile on my face when I have a beer tonight, because seven points from the last three is a great points return. We’re on our way. 

“We’ll look to keep that momentum going after the international break with our two home games. Hopefully everyone will be available for selection and I’ll have a headache. It’s another three game week, so we’ll look for a similar points return – hopefully more. 

“The players will be in this week. A selected few will play in the game on Monday, but I definitely need to give a rest to a few to ensure they will be ready for a test against Blackpool at home. I’ll keep the boys focused and have them ready.”

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