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POWELL: WIGAN DRAW A STARTING POINT

16 September 2014

Manager’s post-match comments from the goalless stalemate

Chris Powell believes tonight’s 0-0 Sky Bet Championship draw – his first point as Manager – is a starting point for his side to build on.

Town’s side kept its first clean sheet of the season on an evening of few chances and Chris was keen to focus on the defensive positive:

“Considering how things went on Saturday when we should have got a point, I’ve got to be pleased with a clean sheet for Alex Smithies and the whole team; we haven’t had one all season,” he told htafc.com

“We could have been better. We had one or two situations; Danny Ward had an early chance and Nahki Wells had a one v one when the ‘keeper did very well for them. I thought Sean Scannell made a decent impact and took the team up the pitch. We didn’t do that enough, though. 

“Wigan is a resolute side and we had to concede possession to them at times. You can see their squad has experience and Premier League quality; just look at the players they left out. Playing against that side, I thought my boys put in a really good effort.

“Of course I’d rather we had won and our fans were driving home celebrating three points, but we needed to start somewhere given the defeats we’ve had recently and that’s what we’ve got.

“We’ll get there. The good thing is the boys want to get there. I know the players will wear the colours of Huddersfield Town and make sure that they compete, like they did tonight. On another night, we could have got three points.”

At the heart of the clean sheet was summer recruit Mark Hudson, who was very impressive at centre back for the second game running.

Chris continued: “Mark has been immense. He made an outstanding tackle this evening and you can already see he leads by example by the way he plays. He’s been a Captain at clubs and you can see why; he communicates and plays in that way. He will be a key player for us moving forward. 

“You can’t play football without communicating; that is a big mantra of mine. You have to pass on information, help one another and organise. That isn’t just the Captain – everyone must play their role.”

Powell was also pleased with the contribution second-half substitute Sean Scannell made:

“He made a contribution tonight; I’m really pleased. I know there was talk prior to my arrival of a possible move on the horizon for him, but it never happened and I was pleased because he’s a player with potential. He’s shown it in flashes here.

“Tonight he offered us a spark. You want that from the start, but if it doesn’t happen you want it from the bench and he offered that. He could have scored the winner only for the ball to be cleared off the line, and he put in some crosses that gave them something to think about. 

“He’s given me something to think about. Hopefully he will produce that in the future.” 

Town’s Manager lost James Vaughan to injury at the weekend and explained he had a few more knocks to contend with throughout the evening:

“We had knocks; Lynch, Ward and Peltier – he was complaining in the first-half but soldiered on. We really grafted. We only really had 18 experienced lads available; from the 20 we had here tonight, the two lads who missed out were Philip Billing and Jordan Sinnott.

“We’ll have a look at Joel. I hope I haven’t lost him as he’s been good alongside Mark Hudson.

“Danny Ward suffers from migraines. They are quite severe. We got him through to half-time, but he wasn’t well and we took him off on Doctor’s advice. It’s a shame for him, because he made an impact on Saturday and I felt he may have given us that tonight. 

“I believe James (Vaughan) will be two to four weeks; he’s had his scan and we’ll see how he responds to treatment. He’s in the hands of James (Haycock) and our medical staff. Hopefully we’ll get him right and get him on the pitch sooner rather than later. 

“Jonathan Hogg has been injured for a while, but is coming back now. Adam Hammill has had one or two knocks but he’ll be fine; we need to get him completely fit, but he’s shown some good stuff in training.

“One or two lads are working to get back and that will help. Any Manager will tell you that you want numbers and difficult selection decisions. We keep picking up niggling injuries.”

Powell will hope to have a few of those players available for his first West Yorkshire derby on Saturday when the Terriers travel to Leeds United – a game he is relishing the prospect of.

“We’ll get as much rest as we can, because it will be a big effort on Saturday. For now, it’s all about recovery.

“We need points and wins. On Saturday we’ll make sure our 11 stand up for Huddersfield Town and give our fans something to be proud of. It will be a tough game – we know that – but we’ll be ready.”

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