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POWELL ON ALEX, JACOB & BRIGHTON

17 August 2015

Highlights from Chris’ Monday press conference

- Chris Powell discusses Alex Smithies' transfer deal
- Manager says Jacob Butterfield is going nowhere despite rumour
- Powell previews Tuesday's game vs Brighton & HA

Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell discussed Alex Smithies, Jacob Butterfield and Tuesday night’s game against Brighton & Hove Albion when he met the press for his regular pre-match press conference at PPG Canalside on Monday afternoon.

Smithies was left out of the side to face Blackburn Rovers on Saturday amid interest from another club and Powell explained that matter is progressing:

“A deal has been agreed in principle, so Alex wasn’t here today; he is in negotiations with the other club. This transfer has happened pretty quickly after first contact was made on Friday and once the bid was sorted, he has gone down to speak about it. 

“People have to remember that virtually every player has his price. Football changes and people have to remember that players never stay forever; the football club carries on and there will be new heroes in the future. This happens at the top level too; you just have to get on with it.

“If Alex moves on, I will wish him well; he’s a very good Championship goalkeeper and he’s been here a long time. He’s done well for the Club for a number of years.” 

Powell went on to explain that any funds received from a deal involving Alex could mean improvements being made elsewhere in the squad:

“There’s always ambition here. I am an ambitious Manager and I want to do well, but you have to move on. We want to be better and we want to do well, as I’m sure our fans do.

“This doesn’t hurt our ambition if it does happen; you have to take stock and look at how we can move forward, both in the goalkeeping department or any other area, with the money coming in. That may be our opportunity to strengthen the squad and if it is, we will act to make us a better squad. 

“The Chairman has always been very good with me when we’ve tried to improve the squad. If things happen with Alex, this may be another opportunity. I’m sure it will be an opportunity to reshape one or two areas.”

Another player subject to a transfer rumour today is reigning Player of the Year Jacob Butterfield, but Powell was quick to dismiss the prospects of him moving away.

“There will always be links, because we have good players here; ones that can play at a higher level. We understand that.

“Jacob is a key player for this football club. Nobody wants to move Jacob away; I know the Chairman is adamant he doesn’t want him leaving, like all of us here. I’m sure people are looking at the rumours, but I’m positive this won’t happen. He is integral to our plans. 

“He came here after a tough time at his previous club and we gave him the opportunity to play. I want to continue to do my best to build a team around a very good player like him, so we won’t entertain any move away.”

The Manager admitted that he would be an advocate of England’s transfer window closing before the competitive season begins:

“Having the transfer window open during the season only benefits the bigger clubs with loads of money. You plan all of pre-season, so it doesn’t seem right than you lose players two or three weeks in. 

“I believe it benefits the European clubs that start a little later than us, but by rights it should finish in England on 1 August.” 

On Tuesday’s Sky Bet Championship game at home to early league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion, Powell explained:

“We have a game tomorrow and we have to prepare for it. It’s a tough game, but they always are at this level. We’ll have to play to our maximum. 

“The players have to get ready and go again; they must give their all for our supporters. We’ve spoken about Brighton, of course, and done a bit of work on them. It’s all systems go for that game. 

“We need a win; it would be very timely. There was a lot to like about our play against Blackburn; our goalkeeper didn’t have a save to make, but they still got their goal, which was disappointing. We should have managed the game out to get the three points.

“Brighton arrives here with two wins, one in the 94th minute on Saturday. We’re under no illusions it will be difficult. We’re in the middle of three games in eight days and we want to come out of that with some points.” 

Chris explained that his squad should be boosted by the return of two players from injury:

“Joe Lolley and James Vaughan should be ok and everyone else has come through a second day of recovery in what is a very quick turnaround. The only exception is that we may be missing Sean Scannell due to his hamstring, but that will give someone else an opportunity to play and show the supporters they are ready to make a mark.”


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