Chris previews Saturday’s game with Blackburn
Town Manager Chris Powell wants six points from the remaining available six, which means he’s targeting a win against visitors Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers come into the penultimate game of the season on the back of a five game unbeaten run and want to end the season unbeaten, as Chris told htafc.com:
“I want to win the two remaining games; that’s important for us. All the players want to be involved on Saturday.
“We’ve had quite a few exciting games, like the one on Saturday against Derby. We’ve been creative and good to watch; we just haven’t shown it in every single game. That’s great for the fans, who pay their money to come and watch. There’s been some superb attacking play.
“We want to continue our run on Saturday in order to create some momentum for next year, but we also have the chance to get 59 points this season; the most this Club has had for a long time. That’s important to me, as it shows progress. We want to show everyone what we’re capable of, because we want them to go home wanting more.
“We’re in a good place as a football club. We won’t settle for this, though; we want to push on and be better. I care about this team, the Club and its supporters.”
Town should be backed by a bumper crowd this weekend thanks to £5 pre-purchase tickets for home fans and Powell praised the Club Chairman for the idea:
“Dean Hoyle is behind this initiative. I’ve been at clubs where this has happened before, but it takes Dean’s backing to make it happen here.
“It’s a ‘thank you’ to our fans. They’ve been with us all season and we have been up and down, but we’ve generally been good at home – especially against the bigger sides. We’ve really performed against them in the main.
“I really hope we pack the Stadium out. There’s still time to get a ticket before Friday to come and see your team! Just as the fans will salute the players, the players will salute the fans too. It’s also important that our fans back Dean as well, because it’s important we recognise what a good owner we have.”
On Saturday’s opponent Blackburn Rovers, Chris commented:
“They’ve had an exciting cup run and have outstanding goal-scorers; one we know in Jordan Rhodes and another in Rudy Gestede, who has had a good year.
“They have other good players too, like (Ben) Marshall and (Craig) Conway. That’s the basis of a very strong Championship side and they’ve been very close to breaking into the division’s top six.
“We watched them in midweek and although Millwall were in the ascendancy for a lot of the game, Blackburn stayed in it and eventually their goal-scorers fired.
“I’m sure they’re looking to end their season well too.
“Gary (Bowyer) has kept them going and enjoyed some good results and performances. As their Club has settled down under Gary, they’ve improved on the pitch. That’s important, as it lets you focus on the football. We’ve got a good stable base, whereas one or two other Championship clubs have not.”
Powell is expecting to select from a fully fit squad on Saturday after James Vaughan (knee) returned to training earlier in the week:
“James has trained today (Thursday) after doing some other work earlier in the week, so hopefully he will be ok and up for selection on Saturday. That’s really pleasing, as it means we have all the boys back. Hopefully that will be the case for the remaining two games.
“Harry Bunn played a planned 45 minutes for the Development Squad on Monday to help him get back up to speed, because he’s an important layer for us. He’s available and looks strong.”
On using some of the Club’s younger players in the game, he commented:
“There are one or two players I have my eye on, but if this season is a little too early for them I will be looking for them to make their mark in pre-season.
“I want to develop players – and we have to at this Club. The Under-21s and Under-18s have been successful at their level again this season, but we now have to help them make the step up to the First Team.”
Chris finished by commenting on Oscar Gobern and Ishmael Miller; both of whom are out of contract in the summer.
“Those two are doing everything they should. If they keep doing that, I’d like them to stay.
“Ishmael is getting fitter and stronger and when he plays like he did in the first-half against Derby, not many Championship defenders can deal with him. He’s been a goal threat, he’s performing any role we ask of him and he’ll improve with a good pre-season.
“Our fans have seen more of Oscar than I have, but I’m not one to linger on what’s gone before; that can affect your judgement. If someone looks the part and is doing the right things, I’ll put them in the team. Every player has a chance, regardless of their history.
“Oscar went out on loan initially, but since he’s come back he has been in my mind. He had a few cameos and has been pretty good in training. Now he’s taking his opportunity.
“He came to this Club for good money. He has had a few injuries, but he is someone who can play at this level. He’s showing that consistently, but it’s still up to him.”
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