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SMITHIES: LET’S PUSH FORWARD

17 February 2015

Alex reviews the 1-1 draw at AFC Bournemouth

Alex Smithies praised the qualities that the team showed to come from behind to draw Saturday’s game at high-flying AFC Bournemouth.

Town fell behind to Yann Kermorgant’s strike just after the quarter-hour mark, but withstood the territorial pressure from the Cherries to stay in the game and grab a point through James Vaughan’s second-half equaliser.

“Having gone behind fairly early on and with the memory of the first game of the season, I’m sure some of our fans were worried about where the match was going but we showed some good resilience and managed to grind out a result away from home,” Alex told htafc.com.

Smithies came in for many deserved accolades after the game, with his performance earning him a spot in the Football League’s Team of the Week (click HERE).

“It’s nice to hear,” Alex admitted. “You know going into games like Bournemouth away that you’re going to be involved and you do your best to get involved positively. You know you’ll need to. That’s my job.”

The modest shot-stopper was also keen to shift some of the praise onto his defensive colleagues:

“The whole team showed a determination, which we needed to do. We wanted to bounce back from the loss to Wolves, but we probably couldn’t have wished for a harder game to do it in. It was a very good team performance. 

“I thought the centre backs were both very good. Murray Wallace was very strong against Callum Wilson, who is one of the league’s best strikers.” 

The Terriers have shown the ability to quickly recover from setbacks all season, with the point at the Goldsands Stadium the latest example.

Smithies continued: “You have to bounce back quickly in this league, because if you don’t you can really slide down the table; the league is still so tight. 

“It might not have been a win, but it was a really important point at Bournemouth as it extended the distance between us and the bottom three. We’re up in that middle pack at the moment and we’re looking to push into the top half.” 

Saturday’s draw was a continuation of the improved run of away form. Having been the Achilles heel for many months, Chris Powell’s side now has seven points from the last three games on the road.

“At one point in the season we were struggling away from home; it seemed to be a psychological thing. We weren’t able to turn games around when we went behind. Now we’re staying in games. That was the case at Wigan, where we nicked a goal at the end to get a really good win. We’ve been doing that well in recent weeks. 

“Everyone likes to pass the ball, but more importantly you have to make the right decisions in terms of where to pass it and when to turn teams and play sensibly, especially away from home.” 

Now Alex says the challenge is to revive the home form, with upcoming fixtures against Cardiff City and Reading on Town’s patch.

Alex concluded: “It’s strange how the home and away form has flipped, but it’s not too long ago that we were recording some great results at the John Smith’s Stadium and we’re going into the next two games full of confidence, believing we can win.”

Print your ticket for the next two games at home – click HERE!

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