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POWELL: YOU TAKE THE POINT

21 February 2015

Chris reviews the 0-0 draw with Cardiff City

Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell took the positives from today’s goalless draw against visitors Cardiff City at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“You’ll always take any point as a football manager; you can never have a bad point in any circumstances,” Chris told htafc.com post-match. 

“Over the balance of the season, you’ll always take any points that add to your tally and over the balance of play today, maybe a point was right. 

“We’d been in today’s position three or four times already this season and lost, so it’s good in that respect. However, it wasn’t a game that will live long in the memory.

“Ideally I wanted three points today, but this was a game I wanted to take something from. Games like this will happen throughout the course of the season.” 

One of the main positives from the game was the way Town defended, which gave stopper Alex Smithies a fifth clean sheet of the season.

Chris explained: “We prepared and looked at where Cardiff’s strengths and weaknesses were. I thought we handled that in the main.

“We defended really well as a team, especially right at the end when the long throws and crosses were coming in. We’ve got our first clean sheet for a while. We need that foundation. We built on what we did at Bournemouth defensively. 

“I thought Alex Smithies was a positive once again; he made a superb save in the first-half. We made some superb blocks as well, so in a game with not too many highlights that was a plus.”

The nerviest moment of the game came just before the interval when defender Tommy Smith was penalised for a foul on striker Kenwyne Jones. The visitors wanted a red card, but referee Mark Heywood brandished a yellow.

Powell continued: “I actually felt it was the right decision, because the player (Kenwyne Jones) didn’t have the ball under control. He may have been in a dangerous area on the edge of the box, but he never had control of the ball so I think the referee’s decision to show a yellow was the correct one. If he’s had a first touch in front of goal, we might have had a problem.”

Despite the good defensive showing, Powell’s men couldn’t break through the Bluebirds – as Powell explained:

“We couldn’t really unlock them. In the final third we didn’t really make the crosses and our tempo was a bit slow; we needed to speed it up. Maybe we should have been a bit more direct at times. It just wasn’t to be. We didn’t work (David) Marshall enough. 

“I like the squad I’ve got. Of course you always strive to be better, but I think we can do that with the group I have. You want to have a balance and combine clean sheets with being as expansive as you can be in possession and really go for it in the final third.

“We tried to do that today; we had two strikers out on the pitch along with Sean Scannell, who’s been one of our best players this year with what he’s been doing to full backs. We had Jacob Butterfield and Conor Coady out there too; players who are forward-thinking. 

“The key is to strike that balance between what we do when we have the ball and what we do when we don’t. You gather that over the course of a season. I’m sure everyone wants us to be gung-ho, but when we’ve done that we’ve been hurt – like against Wolves recently. You need to have that balance and take the chances when they come your way.” 

Powell made all three substitutions during the game and explained why he resisted the temptation to give Joe Lolley and Harry Bunn longer than five minutes:

“I brought Ishmael (Miller) on quite early to see if he could make a change, but it was one of those days where it wasn’t going to happen for you. I thought Jonathan Hogg, Conor Coady and Jacob Butterfield got hold of the midfield and when thinking if you should make the change, you consider that Sean Scannell has been one of our players of the season and you know he will make things happen – like he nearly did with a run from right to left.

“It’s quite easy to say ‘bring them on’, but the group of players on the pitch are the ones that have been doing the job for us. I’m trying to strike a balance.

“I feel that Joe (Lolley) and Harry (Bunn) have good futures. Sometimes I will bring them on and sometimes I won’t.” 

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