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POWELL: I FEEL FOR OUR FANS

2 May 2015

Chris discusses the abandoned game at Blackpool

Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell was disappointed for the Club’s supporters after the final Sky Bet Championship game of the 2014/15 season at Blackpool had to be abandoned. 

The game had to be called off after home supporters invaded the pitch in the 48th minute and refused to leave, with the decision being made over an hour after the game was initially suspended.

The Terriers had over 2,300 fans in the packed away end, including around 250 cyclists taking part in the Pedal for Pounds 6 fundraiser (click HERE for info).

“Let me put on record how sorry I feel for our fans,” Chris told htafc.com post-match. “We’ve had a lot come a long way and spend money on accommodation, plus we had the Pedal for Pounds 6 cyclists come too. They were excellent – all in good voice – and we looked to win the game for them, which we had chances to do in the first-half. 

“To be fair to the referee, who was a little bit in shock, he handled it well. He was getting advice from the Safety Officer and the Police Commander and although they tried their best to get the game back on, in the end they couldn’t guarantee our safety. Even if they cleared the pitch, there was no guarantee the Blackpool fans wouldn’t come straight back on. We had regular updates, but when we had our fifth chat it became clear we couldn’t come back out. 

“I’ve never seen that happen before; it’s unprecedented. It’s unclear what is going to happen now. I know other games have been abandoned, but not through incidents like this. It’s a real shame that we’ve ended the season in this way. I know there will be talk of replays, but half my team goes on holiday on Tuesday! 

“We were doing as much as we could to get as high as we can in the table and a win today would take us 15th. In any case this is the Club’s highest league finish for 15 years and that shows progress. That’s all you ever want from your team; it’s important to us. We’ve done pretty well at times and I’m quietly proud of that.”

Now that the final game of the season has passed, Powell discussed his initial plans ahead of the next Championship campaign: 

“I believe I have a good core of players who can improve even more. They will be older and wiser through more experience and they want to get better. We’ve all made mistakes – the players and myself – but we’ve stuck together and there’s a positivity throughout the group. The players enjoy representing the Club. 

“Next year, our objective has to be to break into the top half at the least. That’ll take some doing. 

“There aren’t too many decisions to make, but I’ll be speaking to the representatives of Oscar (Gobern) and Ishmael (Miller) as they’ve both done very well; they’ve shown they can play at this level. Hopefully we can keep those two as they will make us stronger next year. 

“I’m particularly pleased for Oscar, as he’s been here a long time and wasn’t in anyone’s thoughts. He’s played his way into the team as a starter and has done very well; he’s given us good balance. 

“Ishmael gives us a different option up front and, as we saw today, he is exciting to watch at times. He’s very strong, he can retain the ball and he has an outstanding strike.”

Watch Town in 2015/16 with a Season Card – click HERE!

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