Chris previews Saturday’s home game
- Chris Powell previews Huddersfield Town vs Blackburn Rovers
- Manager wants players to respond to midweek setback
- Chris hoping to see trio return from injury
Manager Chris Powell has told his players to meet the challenge of kick-starting Town’s season head-on when Blackburn Rovers visit in Sky Bet Championship action on Saturday.
The Terriers have lost their opening two games of the 2015/16 campaign at Hull City and at home to Notts County, but Chris told htafc.com that his players should enjoy the prospect of consecutive home league games over the next week.
“We’re relishing the next two home games. We are at home for the first time in the league this season, so we must attack the game in the way we should and embrace what lies ahead. The first home league fixture is something to look forward to.
“We have to show some character, as we need to turn up and play the way we can. Our attitude must be spot on, which it will be because of the personality I have seen in the group since I’ve been here. We must meet this challenge head on and I’m very confident my players will.”
Town fans were audibly disappointed after Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup defeat; something that the Manager fully understands.
“Fans care about their team and get frustrated when things don’t happen; I understand that. Like us, they wanted to enjoy a cup run and make headway in the competition, which hasn’t really happened here for a number of years.
“The support of fans is important in every single game, whether we’re enjoying a streak of wins or we’ve lost a couple. I thought having fans in the South Stand, behind the goal, worked on Tuesday night and I hope that carries on. I like having support from four sides of the ground; that’s important.
“Equally, as I’ve always said, we need to give our fans something to cheer about. Town fans want to see their team being competitive, whether things are going for them or not. That’s what we have to give them.”
Now Powell is looking for a reaction from his side, knowing that there is still a lot of games to put things right!
“I have to be level-headed, as I must lead this team. We still have 45 league games left this season, though; we’re only in August. There’s no need for panic, as we still have plenty of games to go.
“Tuesday night happened, but we have to carry on. We have to think about what lies ahead, which is Blackburn at home. We’re not even thinking about Brighton yet; it’s all about the next game. Our training sessions aim to help the group get better. Positivity is key.”
Chris admitted that the return of Sean Scannell, James Vaughan and Joe Lolley from injury this weekend would be a timely boost:
“I’m hopeful that all three boys will be able to be in the match day 18; we just have to see how they react on each day.
“All three are key players for us in their own right. Sean had an exceptional year last season and I’m hoping he’ll be fine alongside James and Joe. If they are fit, they make us a stronger squad and that can only help us.
“As I sit here now, everyone else is ok. Alex Smithies didn’t feature on Tuesday as he had just become a father; Mum and baby are fine, so he trained today and will be available for Saturday.”
The visit of Blackburn Rovers means another return to Huddersfield for striker Jordan Rhodes; one of several players the home defence will have to be wary of on Saturday.
Chris commented: “I know what Jordan did for Town and subsequently what he’s done for Rovers. He left a good legacy here – he played his part – and equally this Club gave him a good platform, which I don’t think he will ever forget.
“Football moves on and I have goal-scorers here in Ishmael (Miller), Nahki (Wells) and James Vaughan; they’re the ones I concentrate on now.
“I’m sure, like us, Blackburn will be looking to see some mental toughness and resilience to show that the team can get some points on the board.
“Our attitude has to be spot on. We have to go out fighting on Saturday to show people that we can do it. It won’t be easy – they won’t turn up and roll over – but we have to fight fire with fire and do our best to create, convert and win the game.”
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