Chris previews Wednesday’s game at Wolves
Chris Powell believes the confidence is gradually returning to his Huddersfield Town players ahead of Wednesday night’s Sky Bet Championship game at Wolves.
That is thanks in large to Saturday’s big home win over Millwall – Town’s first victory at the John Smith’s Stadium since March.
“I’m pleased that we’ve got our first home win ticked off. We needed it; the whole town needed it. Hopefully it’s the first of many,” Chris told htafc.com.
“It wasn’t the greatest of games to be honest, but the Championship does throw up games like that and they are the matches you have to get something from. I felt we got better as the game went on.
“Of course Nahki will take the plaudits for his two finishes, but I thought the team as a whole deserved credit. Young Harry Bunn did well again and won the penalty and it was good to see people like Jon Hogg, who has been injured, and everyone else playing their part.
“Grant Holt made an impact (off the bench), as did Sean Scannell. 14 players can affect a game and on Saturday all 14 played their part.
“As a Manager, you want positive things to happen. Our striker, Nahki Wells, has got goals and he will feel good about himself. Equally the team will feel good about winning a game in the Championship, albeit it’s only our second. Charlton are unbeaten in 8th, but they’ve only won three. You can look at that and see we are not far off, but I will never say that we are totally there!
“We haven’t had too long to savour the moment, because now we go to Wolves and Blackburn. It was a good feeling though – one we want to last for a bit longer. We’re going into the next two away games thinking positively about ourselves and looking to get points from the games before the international break.”
Still just four games into his tenure at Huddersfield Town, Chris admits that he is learning about his players all the time.
“Slowly but surely, we feel like a unit. I’m getting to know the players and ultimately there are the ones who govern the moods of our supporters. They are a good bunch that wants to learn and seeing them day-to-day, I’m learning what makes them tick and puts a smile on their face. I’m getting them fitter, stronger and getting them to play how I want. That takes time.
“As things go on I will decide on which ones I want to move forward with us. Everyone here has seen them a lot longer than me, but I like to give people a chance. Ultimately I have to make those decisions, driven on doing the best I can for Huddersfield Town.
“I’m also getting to know the fans and want they want. Obviously, there’s absolutely nothing like winning and Saturday was a relief for everyone. “
Town’s trip to Molineux is the mid-point of a period of three games in eight days and Powell hinted that he will have to constantly assess the match-readiness of his squad after each training session:
“You look at everything. We have one or two knocks and three games in a week, so I might have to box clever with what players I put out. In the main though, you want the core of the team out there.
“Although you’d like to reward the players who got the win last time out, I’m not like that. Whatever team I put out is the one I feel can get something from the game. It comes down to me, my tactics and selecting the team that is right to face Wolves.”
One player pushing for a start is new loan signing Grant Holt, who was impressive as a second-half substitute in the win over Millwall.
Powell continued: “It’s possible he could start; I’ve brought him here to play, affect the team, show people he can still do it and win us games.
“Players are easily written off in football at times. People have to look through Wigan and look at everything else, because Grant ticks all the boxes; he’s scored goals at every level – in the Premier League only last season.
“There’s no doubt that he’s come here to play and show people what he’s about. He did that in 25 minutes on Saturday and we’d love to see that over 90 minutes, so it will be up to me to put him in at the right time. Players like Grant will push themselves and I hope he follows up Saturday’s performance in the remainder of his time here.”
Powell has other players to consider when he comes to select his side, with the Manager adamant that everybody has the chance to impress.
“I never write players off. I always feel that if you do that, the situation comes where you must use them again. I’d love to pick all my players, but it wouldn’t be fair on the opposition to start with 25!
“I have to choose 11 and 7 subs after speaking with my staff and I’ll always treat the players who aren’t selected correctly by telling them myself. In return, I want those players to give me their all because that’s what they’re paid to do. It’s quite a simple equation.”
One such player who is yet to feature on the pitch under Powell is loanee Radi Majewski, but Chris believes his time will come.
“Radi had a personal issue to attend to (over the weekend), but he’s back in the squad now. He’s a really likeable character. I know he’s been in and out of the team before I got here, but he’s here for the season and we’re only in September and there is a lot of time.
“I feel there will come a point where he is a useful player for us; I really do. I see some good things in training, but I’ve gone a certain way at the minute – it’s not easy as we’re trying to get results. He’ll get a chance; let’s hope he does himself justice when he does.”
Wednesday night’s opponents Wolves are flying high in the early stages of the Championship and Powell believes they will pose a tough test for his side tomorrow evening.
“It’s a totally different game to the one against Millwall on Saturday. I watched them on Sunday against Reading and they have some good players as well as momentum, which is huge. They have it in spades at the moment and that’s not just down to their football, but that club is huge and it can sense that it is on its way back after having a dreadful time through successive relegations. Now they could create a remarkable record in becoming the first team to go down two Leagues only to bounce straight back successively.
“They have a good Manager in Kenny (Jackett); a man I know from our local rivalry when I was Manager at Charlton. Everything is in place for them.
“It will be a tough game for us given how the crowd will be, but can we handle the expectation? Absolutely. Our confidence is coming back slowly; it’s not back totally as its only one game, but it helps.”
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