Chris previews Saturday’s game with Leeds United
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell wants his team to keep pushing in the right direction by recording another three point haul when Leeds United visits on Saturday.
The Terriers recorded a third win in four Championship games at Wigan Athletic last weekend to climb the table and is targeting another victory against our West Yorkshire rivals on Saturday.
United got the better of Town at Elland Road back in September early in Powell’s tenure, but the manager believes his side has come a long way during the subsequent weeks and months:
“We lost a game of football, which is always hard to take. However, it was a derby and it was a tough one. I was still getting to know my players in only my third game in charge,” Chris told htafc.com.
“A lot of football has been played since then and we’re in a much better place now.
“We’re a lot different in our mentality, the way we approach games and our preparation. There hasn’t been a wholesale change, but I’ve been manager here for five months now and I’m really enjoying getting to know the Club through the ups and the downs.
“We’re on our way, but we’re still working on things. We’re doing a lot of things that I want, but we’ll never stop looking to progress. We’ll get the odd setback, which is par for the course in the Championship, but we’re confident in our ability.”
A gate of 20,000 is expected for Saturday’s 12.30pm kick-off at the John Smith’s Stadium (click HERE for info on how to save money on your ticket) and Chris wants his players to excel in the derby atmosphere.
“It’s a huge game because of the number of fans we get, both in the home ends and from Leeds. There are a lot of rivalries between friends and families at stake. I want our fans to create an atmosphere, but we have to give them something to shout about too. I hope they really enjoy the 90 minutes.
“I want our players to handle the atmosphere and play their football, because that is the sign of a good team with good individuals.
“We all know what hinges on this game, because we could go 10th before the 3 o’clock games come around. Hopefully that would put pressure on the other teams in and around us.
“In terms of points, we’re level with 12th now. We’re in a good place. We won’t need any motivation for it because of what can happen with the table. We know it’s important, but at the end of the day it’s just another game that we want to take three points from. We’ve taken 10 points from the last five games, which is top half form.
“I want us to keep pushing to beat the team’s points tally from last year and looking up the table, because that will show progress.
“However, Leeds arrive in good fettle too. They beat Bournemouth last time out and they’re unbeaten in three. They’ll be looking to climb the League, so there’s a lot riding on it on top of local pride.”
The January transfer window is still open, but Chris commented on how little movement there has been in and out of all Sky Bet Championship clubs compared to previous seasons as he continues to target a striker:
“It’s highly unlikely that we’ll have anyone in by Saturday. We do have until Monday to try and get something done, but nothing has been to our liking yet. There’s no panic if we don’t.
“The Championship market is slow in terms of permanent transfers and loans; there’s not much going on.
“One thing of note is that Premier League sides will not release too many now; they will wait for the Emergency Loan window in February. They want to wait to see what they have in the building.
“I won’t just bring in people because everyone feels we should – I’ll bring in people that will help us move forward.
“What I do have is a number of good players in the building. We have a good group of players that is evolving. Even though that group is slightly smaller after this month, that has actually brought us closer together; we’re tight-knit here.”
Chris was also keen to extol the virtues of his current squad of players, which has performed so well of late:
“The players eventually got here today and trained really well, which was great.
“We got Murray (Wallace) and Harry (Bunn) back last weekend, who were both involved in the win late on. Both players have been in sides that have won games for us this season and they’re two young players who have good qualities and futures here at Huddersfield. That’s made us stronger.
“Jon Hogg is highly unlikely to make Saturday’s game, but everyone else is fighting fit.”