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Club News


21 July 2015

Town Manager comments on friendly defeat

- Manager offers no excuses for defeat at Grimsby Town
- Chris wants team to improve at Rochdale on Saturday
- Powell takes a few positives from loss 

Chris Powell’s Town side got the tough test he predicted against National League Grimsby Town this evening, suffering a 3-1 defeat in the pre-season friendly at Blundell Park.

After the game, Powell pulled no punches about his team’s performance and was full of praise for the hosts:

“We found ourselves against a side that got to grips with the game pretty early on and who really unsettled us; we couldn’t get ourselves going. There are no excuses, as they really performed on the evening. 

“They were really at it, which happens when a side from higher up visits a lower club; they want to put down a marker and they certainly did that tonight. 

“Of course I wanted to win the game and I’ll never like this feeling. There were one or two aspects that I liked, but not enough. It was disappointing for our fans who came here.

“I’ve told the players that we now have three games to start really nailing things down and get ourselves up to speed, which we will start at Rochdale on Saturday. We’ll really worry about the results come the first kick on 8 August.” 

Powell was without the services of Jonathan Hogg, James Vaughan and Ishmael Miller through injury, whereas left back Jason Davidson has returned to Australia for the week for the birth of his first child.

Chris continued: “The young players have been with us as we’ve been missing some seniors. Ishmael, James and Philip Billing have started to do conditioning work, whereas Hoggy has trained with the group for the last few days.

“We gave Lloyd Allinson 90 minutes and the other lads found out what it’s all about tonight. It might not have been a packed crowd, but they still have to deal with the pressure of playing for the First Team. Nights like tonight bode well for their experience.” 

Taking pluses from the defeat, Chris was relatively happy with the first-half performances from midfield duo Kyle Dempsey and Dean Whitehead.

“At times they did well. 

“Kyle will certainly catch the eye as he can pass, dribble and likes to break the lines with and without the ball. He’s settled in pretty quickly, so hopefully we can get more out of him.

“Dean is experienced. He knows the game and I think he’ll get better and better for us.” 

Another to catch the eye again was Joe Lolley. Playing as a number 10 on the evening, the former Kidderminster man should have scored after creating himself a golden opportunity with a mazy dribble.

“We (moved Joe to number 10) because we’re missing a couple of strikers. Similarly, Jason Davidson is away so I put Jake Charles on the left in the second-half. 

“Joe is having a good pre-season. He scored in our first two games and should have scored tonight. It was a skilful and brave run, as he won a 50-50 with a centre half. He should have then scored, but he hit the post. 

“He’s a danger. He likes picking up the ball wide on the right, but if he can pick it up in pockets of space he can be unstoppable at times. He’s got some quality and he’s showing everyone he can make his mark this season.”

Newest recruit Jordy Hiwula got another 45 minutes in the second-half and the Manager believes much more is to come from the ex-Man City striker:

“He’s only trained with us twice and had two 45 minutes, so he’s still finding his feet; I don’t think he knows everyone’s names yet! We’re trying to integrate him as soon as possible, but it’s been hard as he’s had two strike partners in Nahki and now Harry tonight. His movement is very good.”

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