Chris discusses Saturday’s 12.30pm kick-off in the Midlands
- Chris Powell previews Saturday's game at Wolves
- Manager reveals Mark Hudson could return from injury
- Powell confirms Leon Best is still on trial at the Club
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell has revealed he hopes to welcome Club Captain Mark Hudson back into the squad for Saturday’s 12.30pm Sky Bet Championship kick-off at Wolves.
The 33 year-old has missed the last four games due to an ankle injury picked up in the game against QPR in August, but the Town boss explained that the skipper is now back in training and could travel to the Midlands as part of his match day squad.
“Mark has joined in for the last three training sessions and has completed one full day, which has been good for him after a lot of work separately. It’s good to have him the Club Captain back; hopefully he’ll be in contention for Saturday.
“Joe Murphy has been doing some work with Nick (Colgan, Town’s Head of Goalkeeping) but he hasn’t joined in with us yet. We’ve always envisaged he would be back for the Ipswich game, as the two week international break will be enough time for him to really kick on. I watch the ‘keepers every day and he’s been looking good in the work they’ve been doing.”
Loanees Jed Steer
and Elliott Ward
will play the final games of their initial 28 day stays on Saturday, with Chris giving an update on their prospects of extended deals:
“Jed obviously came in because of Joe’s injury and he’s done very well. He has fitted right in with the group and it’s just a shame he hasn’t kept a clean sheet, as I think his performances have warranted one at least. I’ve spoken to Jed and he’s very comfortable; he likes it here.
“I really like him; he’s my type of ‘keeper. We’ll just have to see where Joe is. His loan doesn’t finish until the middle of next week, so it gives us a few days to see where we’re at and what Aston Villa might need.
“I’ve put on record before that Wardy’s stay is for an initial month, but we put in the deal with Bournemouth right at the start that we can extend it. Again, we’ll have to speak with everyone to see if that happens but I think we will; Huddy might need a game or two and Murray Wallace is out on loan. It would make sense to make sure we’re not caught short.
“Like Jed and all the other loan players, he has fitted in well.”
“Our lads are very proud to represent their countries. Emyr talked about getting back into the Wales squad when we were in negotiations to bring him here and I told him it would happen if he played regularly here and did well, which he has. Now he wants to get to Euro 2016 in France.
“He’s made a really good mark; without a doubt he is a Championship player. I hope he goes there, feels part of the good work that is going on under Chris Coleman at Wales and comes back ready for the Ipswich game.”
Chris also explained that having five loanees in the squad curtails the option of bringing any further loan players in:
“We’ve got five and I’m sure everyone knows that you can’t have more than that in your match day squad of 18. Anything else depends on what happens; for instance, if Jed does go back that would release a space.
“At the moment, I look at my squad and I’m quite happy with where we’re at.”
“He’s still here. He played in a game on Monday; his first 90 minutes for a really long time. We’ll see where it goes, but there’s no news to report.”
The Terriers go into Saturday’s game on the back of two wins and a draw in the last three games and although Chris is happy with the recent improvement, he is adamant there is more to come.
He continued: “We are a work in progress, which will never stop. We’re aiming to help them be better and better week in and week out. There’s a bit more to come from us and I’m demanding more.
“We’ve looked at a lot of things we needed to work on from last year.
“Although the start was tough, our defensive record has improved – which we knew it needed to.
“We also wanted a more attacking style of passing play and we’re in a good place, now we’ve settled down. We’re encouraging them to pass the ball more and more and to be as clinical as we can be in the final third, which I still think we can be better at.
“We might not stay with this formation forever, but it’s working for us now. We look comfortable with the new players in the team. I’ve always said I’ve been comfortable with the players we’ve got, but something has turned in our favour over the last three games. We want that to continue.
“Winning helps confidence. We’ve got the rewards recently in seven points from the last nine, but we need that to carry on. There’s always a tough challenge around the corner and no doubt that will be the case against Wolves.”
On Saturday’s hosts Wolves, Chris continued:
“Steve Eyre and Chris Markham, our analyst, went to watch them against Preston, then Alex Dyer and I went to watch them on Tuesday.
“They changed the team a little bit and it looked like they were going for it, as they needed to pull a result out. Fulham’s red card changed the game and it was only a matter of time until Wolves scored.
“They keep the ball well and everyone here at Town knows what a danger Benik Afobe can be. Even though he didn’t score at Fulham, he did very well; he’s a key player for them.
“I would envisage Conor Coady may come back in now his ban is up.
“Kenny (Jackett) has fashioned a good squad. They have spent some money on some decent players and it’ll be a tough test. I’m sure Wolves will be buoyant from their win in front of their own fans and will look to put the pressure on us early on, so we have to be ready for that.
“It doesn’t count for anything now, but we have a good record at Molineux. Last season’s win there was a significant moment on the back of a win over Millwall and we’re going to have to perform in a similar ilk this Saturday. Hopefully we will.
“If we can carry on the way we have been doing, we should go into the two week break on the back of a positive result.”
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