Chris comments on the 1-1 draw with Brighton
- Manager's thoughts on 1-1 draw with Brighton
- Chris Powell pleased with second half reaction
- Powell hopeful Scannell returns for Fulham
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell was delighted with the second half reaction of his players in tonight’s 1-1 draw at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.
A Beram Kayal goal after 18 seconds stunned the John Smith’s Stadium and it took a get together during the interval for the Town players to snap into action. Having done so with aplomb, they arguably deserved more than the solitary point that Jacob Butterfield’s first goal of the season earned.
Chris explained: “That first period of the game rocked us. It can be really hard when you have a game plan to counter the opposition’s strengths and capitalise on their weaknesses to get in the game, only to concede so early and put yourself under pressure.
“Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition, but we needed to make a tackle; our single attempt to do so didn’t get the ball or the man. They got the ball into an area where they could shoot and capitalised.
“We have to address that to give ourselves a better chance of winning games. It was a tough first half; the players were rocked on their heels and put on the back foot.
“The reaction, after the start we had, was excellent. It showed a lot of passion and we made some good decisions, playing good football.
“At half time I asked the players to stretch the game a bit more and we got that; Nahki got down the sides and we got balls into Ish’s feet in and around the edge of the box. It was exciting for the fans and brought them to life, which we needed to do.
“We got our goal and after that (David) Stockdale made a good couple of saves; Bruno cleared one off the line and ultimately we had double their crosses and shots. We didn’t get the win we wanted, but the efforts of the players were outstanding in the second-half. The commitment to the cause was magnificent
“We are a work in progress, but what we showed today was a lot of what we did well last year. We can’t play any other way than how we did in the second half, because if we drop below that level we will get hurt.
“The players that were out there tonight have proved over several months that they are good enough for the Championship, but we must play like we did in the second half. If we do play like that, we will soon get our first win.
“We want to win games at home, but this is another point for us and we’ll take them as they come. The players are absolutely spent in the dressing room, but now we must go again. I know they will recover and give it their all at Fulham on Saturday.”
Powell took the time to pick out a couple of individuals for praise after the game; Harry Bunn and Joe Murphy.
“I thought Harry Bunn did a sterling job in protecting Jason Davidson, because Bruno – the right back – plays virtually like a right winger. We knew he would have a job to do in that respect, but we also knew he would help us going forward.
“I also have to give credit to Joe Murphy. He has done very well, so I’m really pleased for him. He’s always wanted a run in the team and now he’s getting one.”
At one stage it looked like Adam Hammill would be introduced to the game, but Chris explained that worries over a few players caused a rethink:
“After I talked to Adam, the game just changed slightly and Brighton started to just get on top. I brought James Vaughan on and I was looking at things.
“A couple of defenders were struggling near the end; Mark Hudson, Tommy Smith and Joel Lynch, who was ill at half time. Murray Wallace and Martin Cranie nearly had to come on, but in the end James was the only change.”
Sean Scannell was absent from the line-up tonight due to his niggling hamstring issue, but the Manager explained he might return for Saturday's game at Fulham:
“We’ll see how Sean (Scannell) is with regards to the game at the weekend. He could have played tonight, but that may have made things worse. We’ve looked after him, so hopefully he will be ok.”
Chris reserved his final words of the evening for Town’s supporters, who created a great atmosphere all evening:
“I thought they were decent on Saturday, when we gave them the start they wanted, and the fans were good again tonight. We’ve got them behind the goal and they are singing their songs, so in return we will give them commitment and passion from the players consistently.”