Manager looks ahead to Saturday’s friendly
- Chris Powell previews Huddersfield Town's game at Rochdale
- Powell expecting Jonathan Hogg back for the game
- Manager wants players to earn a place in starting XI
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell wants his players to start showing they should be in his opening day starting XI when the Terriers take on Rochdale in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
The Terriers kick-off at 3pm at Spotland on Saturday against Keith Hill’s side, which finished eighth in Sky Bet League 1 last season.
On paper, the Dale will pose the sternest test to Powell’s side in pre-season to date.
“They did very well last season. Considering the size of the Club and its budget, I’m sure the team exceeded many people’s expectations with an eighth placed finish,” Chris said of Saturday’s opponents.
“We knew Grimsby would be good due to a number of contributing factors and it proved to be the case. Even though we don’t like the feeling of losing games, we’ve learned from it and moved on.
“We’re still bedding people in and we know going a few junctions down the M62 to Rochdale will be another tough test for us, but with two weeks to go we have to get going in our last three friendlies.”
As he stated after Tuesday night’s game, Chris is now looking to pin down the shape and style of play he wants to see from his side going into the Sky Bet Championship campaign:
“The boys are still doing some hard work as we feel there is more to come from them on the physical side, but there is no doubt that we are now looking at the tactical side of things; bedding the team down and cultivating some on the pitch relationships in readiness for the big kick-off.
“We’ll still tweak certain areas here and there, but we do now need to bed down some of the hard and fast rules that we need in our game-plan for the forthcoming season.”
The gauntlet has now been thrown down to the players to show the Manager they should start the opening game against Hull City on Saturday 8 August.
Chris continued: “I need the boys to start showing me they are ready to be in my starting XI or match day 18 and that’s what will happen over the next three games. I have to strike a balance but at Rochdale, for parts of the Deportivo game and most definitely at Barnsley next weekend, I’m looking towards what team will be playing at Hull.”
Powell is also looking for his players to progress past the 45 minutes they have played so far, as he explained:
“I’m going to cut down the travelling squad now and give the players involved somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes, because they need it. It’s always an important mental step for players to complete a game and get through the last 15 minutes, as that’s when you have to cope with some big demands.
“In the previous games, we’ve introduced some of the young boys and maybe one or two of those will continue with us as we move forward, but the rest will return to Frankie (Bunn) and work with the Development Squad.”
Powell should be able to call upon the services of midfielder Jonathan Hogg for the first time in 2015/16, as he explained:
“We’re hoping that we can get him on the pitch and get some minutes into Jon. He’s worked really hard and has had a long busy summer, getting married and going on honeymoon on top of hard work with us to get back to fitness. Now he needs the benefit of match time and he’ll be in the travelling squad. I’m sure he’ll be ready when called upon.”
The remaining unavailable players should return to the pitch next week:
“We’re still missing Jason Davidson, who is back in Australia and is now a father; that’s great news. He’s due back on Sunday.
“Ishmael, James and Philip are now doing some work on the grass; some with the group and some with the conditioning coaches. I would envisage all three will be back with the main group full-time on Monday.”
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