Chris previews Tuesday night’s game
Chris Powell wants his side to keep the momentum from the weekend win going when Wolves visit the John Smith’s Stadium on Tuesday night.
There were memorable scenes on the pitch after the 3-1 victory at Millwall, when the Terriers defied the odds to triumph despite going down to 10 men before celebrating with the 600 Town fans at the Den.
“There’s a real solidarity among the group that has built over time. I thought the post-match huddle was appropriate on Saturday because of what had happened during the game and how we overcame it,” Chris told htafc.com.
“I thought our travelling support on Saturday was not just good – it was excellent. I think they loved every minute of it, as they’d seen their job galvanised by what went on. It was a nice touch for everyone.”
Nahki Wells was the man who was sent off, rendering him unavailable for Tuesday night’s game at home to Wolves.
Chris continued: “Nahki apologised to the players, but there was no need to. We felt it was a very harsh second yellow, as I’m sure everyone who has seen it thinks too.
“I know he got booked in the first-half and people might be wondering why I didn’t take him off, but you can’t substitute every player that gets a yellow card. We also wanted to take the game to Millwall; that was our plan.
“I spoke to Nahki during the interval and told him to leave any 50-50s alone. You could see for his second yellow that his eyes were on the ball; he didn’t turn around and look for the player. Their player went over the back of Nahki, who was standing his ground, and he got sent off.
“You can’t appeal two yellow cards, which I think is a rule that should be looked at in the closed season. I have sent a message to the head of referees (David Allison), who I am due to speak to this afternoon, to clarify our position. Now we’ve lost a key player for a very big football match.”
Saturday’s effort with 10 men was a distinct improvement from a similar situation earlier in the season, when Town fell to a heavy defeat at Norwich. Chris believes the improvement is indicative of the progress within the squad:
“We have some momentum recently, even after one or two setbacks. We’re getting good results playing good football at times, then at other times we’re showing the other side of our game. You have to do that, because the Championship asks so many questions of you; if you don’t have the ability to manage different situations, you won’t succeed. That mentality is coming with this group and we need to keep that going.
“We didn’t react well to going down to 10 men at Norwich earlier this season and we’ve touched on that a few times in training. Since then we’ve become closer as a group. Obviously the opposition was different, but we always felt that chances would come – even with a man down. We now know this group can win games from that situation.”
Tuesday night’s game comes quickly after the weekend trip to London and Powell is monitoring his squad carefully:
“There is that aspect, but we’ve done some light training today. We told the players we had to move on quickly from the weekend result and get our thoughts on the game against Wolves.
“Obviously three games in a week is a tall order and I’ll look at the players.”
Powell gave an update on the injury situation at the Club ahead of Tuesday’s game:
“Tommy Smith is eligible again. He’s worked hard in training and is fine, which is great news.
“Jonathan Hogg’s progress has been slow. He didn’t train today so he won’t be available against Wolves, but does have a chance for the weekend if he comes through training in the next two days.
“Joel Lynch is still a number of weeks away; hopefully two. I hope that is back with the group soon.
“Joe Murphy’s foot injury is the same issue. He wasn’t 100% against Leeds, but he’d been training for a number of weeks and he put his body on the line for the team. He wasn’t completely happy with it but he got through the game, but he wants to be 100% right and I’d rather he is too.”
Tuesday’s opponents Wolves will arrive at the John Smith’s Stadium looking for revenge after Town won 3-1 at Molineux earlier this season.
Powell explained: “My first away win came at Wolves. Our performance on that night was great against a side that is rightly fancied. They had real momentum after their promotion.
“You need to complete two or three doubles during a season and it to complete our first at Millwall at the weekend. We have the chance to get another on Tuesday against a decent team.
“They had a setback on Saturday, so they’ll be looking to bounce back quickly. For us, we want to build on the momentum from our win.”
The Sky Bet Championship is typically tight, with Town theoretically able to climb to ninth with a midweek win.
“It is tight, and there are a number of teams below us that are close. Before the Leeds game everyone was looking up, but when the result didn’t go our way everyone looked down. Now we’ve won away, everyone’s looking up again!
“We know that’s the way it is. We have to recognise and assess where we’re at after each game, because it is so tight. It can change very quickly.
“I think 60 points will normally get you in the top half of the table. We’re on 37 now.”
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