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19 March 2015

Chris discusses Saturday’s home game

Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell believes the team’s performance in its midweek draw will give the players confidence going into Saturday’s home clash with Fulham.

The Terriers were excellent on Tuesday evening, only to have victory snatched away in the last seconds as Norwich equalised. Despite that setback, Powell thinks the performance should give his side more confidence going into the weekend.

He explained: “We believe we can win every game, but what happened on Tuesday can bolster the confidence. It was a real lift with regards to our quality of our attacking play. We realised they would have a bit of the ball, but we went toe to toe with them and it was great to watch. It would have been a fantastic ending if we’d held out. 

“I addressed the players immediately after the whistle, as I knew it’d feel like a loss. I told them that their effort, quality of play and attitude to respond after being pegged back was brilliant. I thought they were great.” 

One of the standout performers was striker Ishmael Miller; the scorer of Town’s first goal in the 2-2 draw.

Chris continued: “He’s playing for his future and I think he’s showing everyone that he’s a player. He’s adapting to a new club and we’re getting to know what he likes. He’s putting in the effort and producing quality; he’s already got two goals at home. 

“He also wants to link up with others and he’s a very likeable guy. He’s popular within the squad. 

“All three strikers are quite different. Ishmael certainly has a physical presence, but he’s not a target man as such. He wants the ball into feet and once he has it, not too many will get it off him. We saw that on Tuesday night, when Russell Martin and Sebastien Bassong couldn’t get near him. 

“If we keep him fit and keep supplying him, I think we’ll see more of that in the remaining eight games. He will get goals.”

With Miller’s midweek strike partner James Vaughan ruled out through suspension this weekend, Powell hinted that there might be a timely return for top scorer Nahki Wells when giving an update on injuries at the Club:

“Harry Bunn and Jack Robinson are out (click HERE for more detail on Jack’s injury), but Ishmael and Jake Carroll will be fine; they just had cramp. 

“We’re hoping Joe Lolley will be able to join in with training soon, but the good news is Nahki Wells has completed contact training. That’s great; hopefully he’ll be up for selection, which is timely given James Vaughan’s suspension.”

With Robinson now back at parent club QPR, Powell explained that sourcing a replacement on loan is difficult at this stage:

“It’s possible, but most players have gone out at this stage and teams are generally reluctant to let players out in the latter part of the season. If they do, they are normally players who are not near their 18 and they may not be up to speed.” 

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As such, it might afford more opportunities to Irish left back Jake Carroll, who started in midweek.

Chris explained: “It was Jake’s first start in a tough game, but he adapted ok. He was a bit nervous at the start and he suffered from cramp at the end, which is to be expected given the pace of the game. 

“He’s a young player who had a run of games at the start of last season, but subsequently he’s suffered from injury between a loan spell at Partick. 

“Sometimes you have to give them as much belief as you can and as much help as possible. I thought Joel Lynch and Jonathan Hogg did that in midweek. Jake will learn from games on Tuesday against the likes of Nathan Redmond, who is a good player; he can give any team problems. That will stand Jake in good stead in the future.”

On Saturday’s opponents Fulham, Powell commented: 

“If you look at them, they’ve had such a big turnover in terms of players and managers; it’s been a tough time for what is normally a very steady, stable football club. 

“Fulham is in a place it hasn’t been in for a very long time. They have lots of history in the lower leagues, but they fought their way up and did very well. Now it’s a tough time for them.

“You have to quickly get used to the Championship, as we’ve seen with a number of teams over the years that have gone straight from the Premier League into League 1. It can be a rude awakening otherwise, as we’ve seen with the likes of Leeds, Charlton and Southampton. I’m sure Fulham will be hoping it doesn’t happen to them. 

“Kit Symons is a young manager that wanted the chance, but he’s had a lot to sort out. He’s introduced a number of younger players, but like us all they’re looking for points to remain in the Championship.

“They undoubtedly have some talented players like Ross McCormack and big Matt Smith, whereas Hugo Rodallega has also played in the Premier League for Fulham and Wigan. I know Scott Parker really well; he is a leader of men and will need to be now. On any given day, we know anyone can beat anyone in the Championship.

“We’ve got a two week break after our game, which will put everything in perspective.”

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