Chris reviews the 2-2 home draw with Blackburn
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell was pleased with the action-packed end to the season in today’s 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers.
“We know we have a duty to wear the shirt with pride and to do our best to entertain, especially at home. With today’s initiative (£5 tickets) pioneered by Dean Hoyle, we had a lot of fans here today that we want to come back again and we wanted to give them what they want,” Chris said.
“It was a good day all round when you think of value for money. Oscar did well again, young Joe Wilkinson made his debut and Joe Lolley scored his first at home. There were a lot of good ingredients today and we just need to eliminate some small details.
“We deserved at least a point, but on the balance of play I think we should have got three.”
Town started the game well and Chris admitted he was shocked to see his team fall behind:
“We bizarrely found ourselves 2-0 down despite being on the front foot. We got the temp we wanted, created the chances and could have gone ahead in the very first minute. Ishmael was having joy down our left-hand channel.
“We kept going and got the goal through Jacob, which gave us a chance. However, we had settled into their tempo a little bit as things progressed and I told the players that at half-time. That doesn’t work for us; we need to be on the front foot and aggressive in our play.
“The attitude of the players was good. We kept going, which I always demand.”
Chris was also happy to hand a professional debut to first year professional Joe Wilkinson; a product of the Huddersfield Town Academy:
“Reece (James) tweaked his groin. We thought he might be able to get through it, but he failed a fitness test this morning.
“After the finish of last week’s game, I always had it in my mind that I might blood one or two. Facing Blackburn is a tough game as they are quite direct and they have two very good goal-scorers, but I wanted to start Joe. He’s played games at right back, but by trade he’s a centre back.
“It’s good for him to get his senior debut. I called his parents to make sure they knew, but I didn’t tell Joe he was playing until lunchtime as I didn’t want him staying up all night! I’m pleased for him, as it’s always a nerve-racking experience.
“The players all supported him and helped him out. He made some good decisions today and at other times he looked nervy, but that’s to be expected. He got the support he needed from the staff, players and the crowd.
“On the hour mark he got a bit of cramp, which is to be expected with nervous energy. Regardless he played his part in the game. Let’s hope it’s the first game of many.”
The Terriers have one more game in the 2014/15 season – away at Blackpool next weekend – and he is toying with the possibility of handing another player a debut.
Chris continued: “There will be a lot going on next week and it might not be the perfect environment for young lads to make their debuts, but we’ll look at it.
“There are some other lads who need a start like Jonathan Hogg and James Vaughan. I’d love to rest Mark Hudson too and maybe I will. Hopefully I can get the right balance that lets us continue the unbeaten run.”
After a positive end to the season, Powell believes there is plenty to look forward to:
“We should have a few more points this season and this match, together with Derby last week, are two more we can reflect on as games we should have won. However, there are definitely positives from our play that I can take forward to next season to make us better.
“Regardless of what side we ask him to play on, Sean Scannell just gets on with it; his work ethic is excellent and he can be devastating from the left too. Jacob Butterfield has had a good season too. Those two lads epitomise what I want.
“I could keep going, because so many players have played their part; the front players have scored vital goals, for example. It has taken time, but we’ve created a good environment once we sorted out the squad.
“The supporters have a big role to play. There’s a feel-good factor with the fans, who want to see us go for it in games. Sometimes that will work for us and sometimes it won’t, but as long as we all stick together through the ups and the downs I will be a happy man.
“I’d like to thank the home fans, as I think they’ve been terrific – especially when we had a bit of a downturn in form. That is when you need the support and I think we got it. That’s important to me, so thank you for that. I hope that support continues next week and into next season.”