Chris reviews the 2-0 opening day defeat at Hull
- Chris Powell reviews defeat at Hull City
- Manager says game was decided by a few big moments
- Powell can see plenty of positives to build on
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell took plenty of positives from his side’s performance in today’s 2-0 defeat at Hull City, but knows his side needed to do a bit better in the game’s key moments.
The Terriers were particularly impressive in the second 45 minutes, but couldn’t take one of the handful of big chances – and were made to pay at the other end.
“We came here on the back of a pretty mixed pre-season, but today we played. We turned up and showed a lot of application and passion,” Chris told htafc.com.
“We knew we would have to contain a side full of quality players, but there is enough quality in my squad to do that and we did at times today.
“Today’s game was about a few big moments, as we’ve always talked about. Harry (Bunn) had a half-chance in the first-half and we did our best to stifle them, only for us not to stay with the runner and concede. We let (Sam) Clucas go at a crucial time and that goal put us on the back foot.
“I have to say that the response from our players – and our fans as well – was great and we did very well in the first 15 minutes of the second-half. Jacob Butterfield started pulling the strings. That was when we needed to get our equaliser.
“Our out-and-out chance fell to our left back, not our striker – and I know that feeling! He could have headed it or taken a touch, but I think the ball is still rising now. Despite that, I thought Jason (Davidson) acquitted himself really well.”
Powell deployed his side with wing backs today, but his hand was forced by three injuries in the build-up to the game:
“It changed somewhat, because we lost a key player in Sean Scannell. We had an idea he wasn’t going to be right on Thursday, which was confirmed on Friday morning. He’s a good player for us as he gets us up the pitch, plus he excites everyone by taking on full backs.
“His natural replacement is Joe Lolley, but he was not right from Monday. We gave him a few days, but it wasn’t to be. We also lost James Vaughan and Ishmael (Miller) isn’t totally up to speed, so we had to look at what we could do.
“We were away from home and we were too open at times last year, so we worked on this all yesterday and the players were quite comfortable. I thought the players acquitted themselves in the system quite well. We wanted to get a foothold in the game, which we did.
“As we grew into the game, we dominated the ball. I thought Jacob, Jonathan and Dean used the ball well and snapped into tackles, which helped us. Possession doesn’t always count for everything, as was the case today.
“We knew it would be a long afternoon for Nahki (Wells), but equally we knew his chances would come and they did. Harry (Bunn) flitted between a position out wide and one in support of Nahki.
“We kept going at them and made positive changes, getting Ishmael on, but it wasn’t to be. It was a quality finish from (Chuba) Akpom and we lose 2-0.”
Speaking after the game, Powell would have also liked to see his side impose itself a bit more on the Hull defence.
“We needed some end product. We got into the final third a lot, but sometimes we turned down a shot or a cross. That might come with a bit more belief. We were solid at the back and dominated the middle third, but we needed more end product to really test the goalkeeper.
“That was tough today against Allan McGregor, Curtis Davies and Michael Dawson, who are Premier League players. We still need to put them under pressure, which we didn’t do enough to force our way back into it.”
Overall, Powell can see lots to build on going into Tuesday’s Capital One Cup game at home to Notts County.
“I would have preferred a win on the opening day but as I’ve said to the players, there was a lot to like today. We have to carry that forward now. Although we maybe didn’t show it in pre-season, I’ve always known we were a good team and we certainly showed that in spells today.
“There were a lot of plusses to take into Tuesday’s game and the next League game on Saturday.”