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Club News


12 September 2014

Town’s ‘keeper impressed by the new Manager

Alex Smithies believes new Manager Chris Powell has already made a real impact on the Town squad during his first full week in charge.

“On the back of a defeat, you want a game as quickly as possible. However, with the circumstances at the Club perhaps it was a good time to have a break. It’s given the new Manager a full week to work with us and put his ideas across.

“The Manager has brought in some new ideas and brightened the place up a little bit. Everyone feels like we needed a lift as we haven’t had a great start to the season, but the new Manager has added a bit of a spark,” Alex told

“He seems quite calm and good to talk to – you feel like you can go and speak to him if you ever need to. He puts his point across well and, from what I’ve seen, he has some really good ideas. He’s very thorough, which is what you need to be. You can’t have any passengers; every position is important. I think he’ll work well for the Club.

“It was important for the Club to get that decision right so it did take a bit of time, but now everything is in place and we can move on. Now we have to get used to the Manager’s ideas and start getting results.

“It’s still early in the season, so we can afford to look at it like a clean slate under the new Manager. We can still have a really good season – that’s how we have to look at it.”

Now the Manager is in place, Alex has one major goal going into Saturday’s game – keeping a clean sheet. 

“I want to keep clean sheets now. It’s frustrating, because ultimately the number of goals conceded is how a goalkeeper is judged. We’re all in this together and now we have to pull together and be a bit more resilient and ruthless in our own area to keep the ball out. That will be very important in the next few games.”

Smithies is well aware that he needs to consistently perform to keep his place in the side given the level of goalkeeping competition in the squad:

“I think competition is good for me. It’s good to have at least two First Team players in every position and here it isn’t just Joe Murphy; Lloyd Allinson, Ed Wilczynski and Sam Guthrie are pushing hard as well. That keeps you focussed and working hard, because if you’re not performing someone will take your place.”

Alex’s hunt for a clean sheet begins on Saturday when Middlesbrough visit the John Smith’s Stadium for a 3pm Sky Bet Championship kick-off. 

“Middlesbrough has a good squad, but I think it’s important that we go at games at home and be looking to win every game. We want to make our Stadium a fortress and get the fans on our side to make it a ground that teams don’t like coming to. 

“It’s an old cliché, but we’re taking one game at a time. All we’re looking at is getting a good result on Saturday.”

Get your ticket for Saturday’s game – click HERE

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