The boss looks ahead to Saturday's Championship clash
- Chris Powell previews Huddersfield Town at Ipswich
- Manager says there are big areas of improvement for his team
- Chris confirms James Vaughan is in contention
Chris Powell says that the international break has given him time to reflect on his team’s early season performances ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship game at Huddersfield Town.
Saturday’s game at Portman Road is the first in a fortnight after the defeat at Wolves and the Manager told htafc.com that he’s been assessing where the biggest improvements can be made ahead of a run of three games in eight days.
“I’ve spoken to individuals just about the fact that there’s a quarter of the season nearly gone and there are a lot of areas where we should be better and where we can improve.
“There’s no doubt we can do that in all aspects. I won’t just sit here and settle and say ‘that’s all fine’. We’ve done some very, very good things in games but we haven’t sustained it and that’s been a problem; we need to sustain it for longer periods.
“Look at the Wolves game – we played very well for the first 20 minutes and looked like we would score. You can’t just do it for 20 minutes though; we need to do it for the 90 minutes, as we did for Charlton or for Bolton.
“I’ve demanded that from them, because they can do it. They’re capable – we’ve seen it before.”
Chris also said his side needs to knock the nasty habit of conceding first in games, despite the character it has shown on several occasions to fight back:
“There have been a few games where we haven’t come back, against Cardiff and Wolves, but in most we have; we beat Bolton and against Brighton and Forest we came back for a draw.
“The first goal is always important in any football match - it is at this level for certain - but it doesn’t mean the game’s over. Depending on when it comes, there’s no rush to equalise straight away; there’s plenty of time to not panic and get back in it.
“Of course you want to score first, because then it gives you a foothold in the game. If you do score, it does give you the platform to get three points or at least earn something – particularly away from home.”
Powell is expecting a difficult game against the Tractor Boys this weekend, who were well in the running for promotion to the Premier League last term.
“I’m expecting a very hard game, like they always are in the Championship.
“Mick McCarthy’s teams know their roles, because he’s a top quality manager. He’s managed in the Premier League, he’s managed in the Championship and done very well wherever he’s been. He’s one of the guys I’ve always had massive respect for because of how he builds his teams, how he builds the camaraderie and how he builds the way they play.
“He has added to the players that got into the Play-Offs last year, but we can take heart from the fact we played well against them last year.
“We know they’ve got players with decent quality who can do well and I know it’s going to be a game where we’re going to have to be ready from the minute we turn up at Portman Road. If we feel like we can turn up at half-time or midway through the first half, forget it. We know we have to be ready, we have to manage the game and be prepared for whatever they throw at us.
“Their home record’s not too great, but that makes them even more dangerous - especially after two weeks off. They’ll look at what their success has been built on this season and last year, how they can get back to that.”
“We know we need to match that and fight through it, which we can do. We’ve shown we can do it and we’ll be looking to do it again on Saturday.”
One man in line to make the squad to Ipswich is James Vaughan. The striker has only played 12 minutes of league action so far this season, but last week returned from a calf injury in the behind-closed-doors game at Manchester City.
“He’s been training,” Chris confirmed.
“I know there’s always a clamour to bring James back in, but he’s got to be right. To be fair to James he hasn’t missed any of the training after he had his first 45 minutes for a very long time. He’s been doing finishing sessions with Alex (Dyer) and the other players and he’s looking okay, so he’s in contention to be in the squad.
“Hopefully we can get James Vaughan out there and doing what he does best.”
Town fans can pay on the day at Ipswich; click HERE for full information.