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POWELL: WE’LL TAKE IT TO WIGAN

15 September 2014

Town’s Manager previews Tuesday night’s game

Chris Powell is determined that the team’s search for a first home win of the season comes to an end soon – with Wigan in the crosshairs on Tuesday night.

A cruel 92nd minute penalty denied the Terriers a share of the spoils against Middlesbrough on Saturday after the players had battled hard to get back in the game through substitute Jon Stead’s equaliser. 

“We were beaten on Saturday by an outstanding free-kick and a penalty that we were at fault for. If you take them away we could have come away with at least a point on another day,” Chris told htafc.com.  

“I won’t sit here and say we dominated the game because we clearly didn’t, but we had spells – as did Middlesbrough. It was tough to take, but we will do that to teams this season and happily take the three points.”

Despite the result, Powell was keen to focus on the positives from his first game in charge. 

“We got ourselves back in Saturday’s game, which is all you can ask from your team and your players. They were positive before the game and during half-time, but they were devastated afterwards.

“We lost our rhythm a bit going forwards at times, but we kept going and showed good resilience. The fans stuck with the boys when things weren’t going great and then all of a sudden two of our subs combined to get us back in it, which was great to see.

“I thought Mark Hudson came in and was solid in a very good home debut; he’s a good leader. I thought Alex Smithies did particularly well and made a crucial save as we were trying to get back into the game too.”  

One player who Powell will be without on Tuesday night will be striker James Vaughan, who went off on Saturday having sustained a calf injury. 

“I’ve spoken to James and he is having a scan today. We’re hoping it’s not as severe as it possibly could be. It’s a different injury; I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. We’re hoping it’s a pull and not a tear.

“It’s a shame, as I’ve lost a good player to an injury and it’s a position he doesn’t want to be in. Let’s hope he gets back as soon as possible, because we want him out on the pitch. We have to do what’s best for him in the long term, not just the short term – he’s still a young man.” 

Vaughan is a player Powell knows well; the pair was teammates at Leicester City. 

Chris continued: “Our paths first crossed at Leicester when I was Player-Coach. He thinks he put an extra year on my career, but I retired that year at 40 and had played for 24 so I don’t think that was the case! He’s a good character and is a goal threat, which I’ve counted the cost of as a Manager over the years.” 

With Vaughan sidelined, the Manager is looking for another player to step up to the mark:

“We have other options and obviously someone else will now have to come into the team. It’s an opening for someone else to affect the game and drive us on to our first three points of the season at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“Jon Stead came on to good effect on Saturday and got his goal, which all strikers want; that will give him some confidence. Goals are what strikers live for.”

Tuesday’s opponents Wigan Athletic arrive in West Yorkshire on the back of their own weekend defeat; they went down 3-1 at Blackburn Rovers.

“Their start has been a little bit similar to ours, but the Championship does that to teams. They haven’t won a point on the road yet but they’ve picked up points at home. 

“They have a strong squad. We’ve been assessing them and they have players not playing who are of Championship standard. It’s a tough ask again, especially after the heart-breaking game the way ended on Saturday.

“We can’t dwell on that result now. We’re looking forward to taking Wigan on and getting something from the game.

“The camaraderie is good and today they are looking forward to putting things right. That’s all everyone can ask for.

“I know our fans want results. I want points too – I don’t care where they come from.” 

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