Chris previews Saturday’s game at AFC Bournemouth
Town’s players have shown an ability to bounce back from defeat under Chris Powell – and that’s the aim again in Saturday’s game at AFC Bournemouth.
The Terriers are on a run of victories bookending defeats going into Saturday’s game; a record they will want to continue, as it mean a victory at the Goldsands Stadium.
Chris Powell believes that inconsistent run of form is similar to other teams across the Sky Bet Championship:
“In the Championship, you just have to go again. We’ve had one or two real downs this season, but picked ourselves in the next game. That shows resilience and a bit of character, but we don’t want to have to keep doing that; we want to go on a run.
“We’re still learning as a group. Just when you think you’ve cracked it, the next result can show you haven’t. The Millwall and Wolves games are prime examples of that. We displayed some of the qualities I want at Millwall, but then we tried to be positive at home against Wolves and got hurt by a good side.
“We want to progress to the next level at this club, but it will take time. You have to take a few hits along the way and that’s what is happening to us at the moment.
“We’re among around 20 other clubs in the division that are striving for consistency. Look at Wolves; they lost to Reading then beat us, whereas we beat Millwall and then lost to Wolves. Millwall lost to us and then beat Birmingham – that’s just how the league is.
“We’d all like to cure inconsistency, but the quality of the division and close proximity of the games catches teams on the back foot. You’d like to get the same performances out of the team, but it can be quite hard.
“The Championship doesn’t change. We just have to take care of ourselves and want to get as many points on board as we can. It will continue to chop and change, just as it has done all season.
“There’s a bit of a gap to the top eight that will be hard to overcome, but you’ve still got to try and get there. Equally, Millwall won in midweek and that reduced the gap at the bottom. There are a number of teams clustered together.
“When I came in we were 21st and we’ve moved up, but if you win a game you move up three places and you drop three if you lose.”
Powell’s side faces one of its toughest tests of the season this weekend against Eddie Howe’s high-flying Cherries.
On weekend opponents Bournemouth, Chris said: “Their team has shown the way since the start of the season, alongside Derby and now Middlesbrough. The Club has some good players and many different ways of playing; the balance of the team is very good. If you block off one avenue, they go down another. They have many options in terms of pace, power and craft.
“They’re good going forward. Callum Wilson has made the step up; I obviously know a lot about Yann Kermorgant and their two wide players make for a very good front four.
“The manager has been with the group of players for a while and that does pay off. He knows the players well, which comes over time by being patient with certain players.”
Bournemouth’s team is the highest scoring in the division so far this season, which will test Powell’s defence.
He continued: “We’ve been trying to tighten up for quite a while, because it’s almost been a case of having to outscore the opposition to get anything from games. We certainly have an attacking threat but we haven’t had too many clean sheets, which I haven’t been happy about. In the next 16 games we have to be as hard to beat as we can be.
“We’ll have to be a lot tighter and not as gung-ho as we were on Tuesday. It’s a tough game and a tall order for us, but we’re confident going into the game and we want to bounce back as soon as possible.
“We’ll have be on our game – it’s as simple as that. We’ll have to play quite smartly and be as compact as we can be without the ball to deny them space. They’ll have moments – that’s how football is – but we have to be on our guard for 90 minutes.”
Going into the game, Powell might be able to welcome one player back into the fold:
“We’re not doing too badly. We’re still missing Joel Lynch and Joe Murphy, but we’re hoping Jonathan Hogg will be part of the squad. Apart from that we’re ok.
“Jonathan has been out for a while and has only had a couple of training sessions, so it would be unfair to pin everything on him. He’s a good quality player that has done well for us this season, but equally we’ve got results without him with other players. There’s no doubt that we’re stronger with him in the squad though; we’ll see if he’s fit and available to take part.”
Another member of the squad definitely back in contention is Nahki Wells, who returns from suspension:
“In our last three games he’s got injured after 10 minutes, been sent-off and then missed a match. People say things come in threes, so hopefully he’ll now be ok! It’s been a really frustrating time for him.
“He’s a good player for us. He’s a goal-scorer.”
Town fans can pay on the day at AFC Bournemouth – read more HERE