Chris previews Tuesday night’s game vs Norwich
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell wants his side to build on its improved performance at the weekend when Norwich City visits the John Smith’s Stadium on Tuesday evening.
“I would have preferred three points, but the performance and the manner that we played in was important considering what happened in the previous three games. That’s something for us to build on,” Chris said of Saturday’s stalemate at St. Andrew’s.
“We’d stopped doing many aspects of our game, so we made sure we accentuated the positives with our players through the week and we saw the fruits of that on Saturday. We should have been 3-1 up at half-time as we had good chances; it was good to see us creating in the final third. We just needed to convert them.”
Now Chris wants his team to continue in the same vein against promotion-chasing Norwich come 7.45pm on Tuesday evening.
He continued: “They are a side that still has the quality and feel of the Premier League. They’ve got themselves in the mix for the top two and they’ll be a tough proposition for us.
“We’re fully aware that they have got threats, so it’s up to our players to nullify those before expressing themselves. Their players will arrive here full of confidence after the run they’ve had.
“However, we’ll face it head on. We want to make sure our Championship status is intact and we need two or three wins to do that. These games are very important for us and we’ll focus on building on what we did on Saturday. If we do that, we have a chance.
“We’ll be on the front foot again and focus on ourselves. We’ve got to be positive in our outlook and take the game to them.”
With nine games of the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship campaign remaining, Powell wants his team to secure its place in the second tier as soon as possible whilst putting down a marker for next term.
“We do need to give our fans a lift; not only because Season Cards are on sale, but also for our future. We have some young players that I’d love to introduce, but at this present time we need performances and results.
“We’ve got to make sure that we get the points on the board to secure our status in the Championship; that’s very important. The division always ebbs and flows and will continue to do so in the weeks to come.
“It’s important that we play positively and get wins. The fans that went to Birmingham on Saturday will have seen a marked improvement on the Rotherham game and that shows everyone that we have a decent team. In adversity we can play under pressure and we’ll have to do that now.
“If we finish the final nine games in a very positive way, it will bode well for next season. It’s very tight, but we want to finish as high as we can and we recognise that we need to take something from the next two games. I feel we have to do it on our own patch.”
Ahead of the next game, Chris gave an update on the fitness of Harry Bunn (hamstring), Jack Robinson (knee) and Nahki Wells (shoulder).
“Sadly both Harry Bunn and Jack Robinson won’t be available against Norwich and they’ll more than likely miss Saturday as well. It may help that we don’t have a game for two weeks after the Fulham match this weekend, but they’re both going for a scan on Monday afternoon and we’ll wait to see the results.
“Nahki Wells is close. He’s been doing non-contact training and extra running, plus the group work where he’s a spare man and lots of finishing training to keep him happy! The specialist said three to four weeks, which would actually be this Saturday. As a result I would think Norwich comes just a bit too early, but he does have a decent chance for Fulham.”
Chris reserved his final words for outgoing Head of Football Operations Ross Wilson, explaining the legacy he’ll leave upon his departure to Premier League Southampton:
“He’s been first class with me. He was the very first person I spoke to at Huddersfield Town, before my interview. I’ve really warmed to him during my time here as he’s a very good football man.
“He helped me with trying to bring players in and out, but that wasn’t solely his role. He came into the Club when it had got back into the Championship and there has been a real overhaul with regards to scouting and recruitment locally and around the country, as well as abroad.
“We also have category two status with our Academy and that takes some building; he’s been involved in that. Ross did a lot of unseen work in putting structures in place for the First Team, Under-21s and lower down in the Academy.
“Of the recruitment work he’s been involved in, several younger players are now on the fringes; the likes of Philip Billing and Sondre Tronstad.
“I’m sure many people focus on the recruitment, but Ross’ role here has been more than that. He’s going to a progressive club and he will fit seamlessly into the way they are structured. It’s a great move for him.”
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