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POWELL: A LEARNING CURVE FOR THE YOUNGSTERS

12 March 2015

Chris previews Town’s game at Birmingham

Manager Chris Powell has described the last three games as ‘a big learning curve’ for the younger members of Huddersfield Town’s squad going into Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship game at Birmingham City.

Following three successive defeats, Chris has been keen to keep things positive at PPG Canalside this week ahead of this weekend’s match in the Midlands, as he explained:

“We’ve had a good week of training; it’s been sharper. It’s not been up the hills and up the moors and that kind of stuff - we’ve got down to basics. We’ve got around one another and I’ve got to say the response has been first class. I’m pleased that has been the case.

“I’ve been really positive around the players, because they’re not suddenly bad footballers. They’re good players; they’ve shown that on numerous occasions this season and it shouldn’t spoil all the good things they’ve done. They’re a good group, a resilient group and we’re going to have to come through it. 

“We’ve got to put the previous three games in a week behind us and we’ve got to make sure we take some perspective on it. It’s been a downturn and a hard week; one we didn’t see coming and that has been hard to take. We just didn’t handle the week in the best way we could’ve done.” 

With 2015/16 Season Cards now on sale (click HERE), Chris is very keen to finish the current campaign on a high with just 10 games remaining:

“I think there’s an air of defiance around the Club. The players always take responsibility and I always do as Manager; I’ve done that and will continue to do that. 

“We’re now looking for a response in the next performance. It’s now about our motivation, our concentration and about us seeing the last 10 games through and doing the right thing more often than not.

“I’ve looked at this week as a big learning curve for the younger players in the group. They’ve had setbacks this season, but not concentrated within a week like this. 

“They’ll be better for it in the long-term. People like Tommy Smith, Harry Bunn, Conor Coady, Murray Wallace and even Sean Scannell, who hasn’t played this amount of games in a row, are actually going to be better for it.

“I’ve got to look at the next five home games and five away games and we’ve got to get a good points return. I just want us to get back playing the way we have done over the course of the season. 

“We’ve passed the ball really well at times this season and we’ve had good movement, creativity, we’ve put crosses in and we’ve made things happen. We didn’t do that last week. We want to get back to what we’ve been good at this year, because that earned us the points in the 36 games and will certainly earn us points in the remaining 10.

“I want us to go for it as much as we can during the games. We’ll have a framework, but then give players the go-ahead to express themselves and do what they do best.” 

Saturday will see Powell face off against Gary Rowett in the dugout; a man who was his teammate during playing spells at Derby County and Charlton Athletic. Chris believes his Blues’ side is a good example of one that has come though a sticky spell:

“We go to Birmingham City, who had a draw and two wins last week. Before that, they hadn’t won for nine games! You’ve seen it with a number of teams. Charlton hadn’t won for 13 games but now they’ve turned it around and got results. That’s the position we see ourselves in with three defeats. 

“I’m very pleased for Gary (Rowett). We’ve always got on well, he’s someone I have time for. He’s gone into Birmingham where it was quite tough and they picked up some points and got themselves going. 

“Then they had a downturn, not winning any games, but now they have turned it round again.

“I went to watch them last week against Blackpool and they’ve got a certain way of playing. They’ve been dusting themselves down and going again and that’s certainly what we will be doing.”

Powell finished by giving an injury update on Harry Bunn (hamstring) and Nahki Wells (shoulder), who both missed Saturday’s defeat to Rotherham.

“Hopefully Harry will be available on Saturday. 

“Nahki is in non-contact training, but that isn’t much good for a striker against those big defenders! Hopefully we can get Nahki involved if not this Saturday then on Tuesday; I’m hoping to see him in one of the games next week.

“Obviously I’d love Nahki to be available. He’s our top goal scorer; a really good player for us at this level and very good around the dressing room. He’s always happy and wanting to better himself. Hopefully we will get him back into the squad as soon as possible.”

Town fans can pay on the day at Birmingham on Saturday – click HERE for info

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