Chris previews Saturday’s game against Bolton
- Chris Powell previews Saturday's game vs Bolton Wanderers
- Manager wants to maintain momentum after Charlton win
- Powell updates on injuries
After recording a first win of the season in midweek, Chris Powell wants to keep the ball rolling when Bolton Wanderers visits the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.
“Getting the first win was one hurdle we had to overcome. In some ways, it was a touch of fate that it came at Charlton! It was a relief for everyone,” Chris admitted to htafc.com on Friday morning.
“We have been close, but you can’t keep saying that. We needed a total, committed performance over 90 minutes.
“We’ve had good hours in games where we haven’t capitalised on the pressure we’ve had. All our stats in those games have been really high, but they are not the stat that counts.
“It’s important not to get carried away now; it’s only one win. We have to try and build on that by doing more of the same. As I’ve always said, I have total belief that this group of players can do that.”
As he had intimated previously, the Manager believes the stay down south between the games at Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic helped to integrate the late August signings into the squad:
“We’ve been working on bedding the team down and you could immediately see shoots of it coming together but ultimately you need results and points on board, because that does help with the confidence of the players, staff and especially our fans.
“It’s a big achievement for us to nit this group together, but I must say the players have been excellent. The Club allowed us to stay at Bisham Abbey after Cardiff and I think that was a big, important help.
“Bisham has improved no end since England used to train there years ago. We went into Windsor and the group had a meal at a nice Italian restaurant by the castle, had a walk through the town and even watched some old boys playing Walking Football on the Sunday morning! Little things like that help; it was good for us to have that time together.”
One of Town’s summer recruits, Kyle Dempsey (pictured above), made his third substitute appearance for the Club in Tuesday night’s victory and Chris believes the 20 year-old is a star in the making – but urged patience from the fans.
“Kyle played his first full season last year and has now moved up two divisions. He has a lot to learn, but he is willing and very coachable. We like a lot of what we see from him on a daily basis, but there’s a long way to go. I don’t want anyone getting carried away even though he is a regular in our 18.
“Fans will have seen snippets of him in pre-season and when he comes on in games. That will remain the case until I decide he is ready to start a game. He is developing and one we feel will excel in time, which is why we brought him in, but he’s very young and he hasn’t played a lot of football. Everyone needs to give him time.”
Powell understands that Town fans will be keen to see more of young starlets such as Dempsey, but explained that he must do what is best for the individual player, the team and the Club as a whole:
“Fans have a voice and opinions, and rightly so; Huddersfield Town is their club and they still be here long after I’m gone. However, it can’t sway me in what I do; if it does, you are not managing. I have people around me, but ultimately I have to make the decisions.
“Like the fans, I want to see our team do well. I recognise they must have been frustrated, but all I can tell them is that the players and I will do the best we can to bring success to Huddersfield Town.
“I wish I could play 18 players on a Saturday because it would keep everyone happy, but part of my job is keeping players as happy as I can through training and giving them their opportunity when possible. We have plans for every player.”
On Saturday’s game at home to the Trotters, Chris continued:
“It’s important now to follow that up. Back to back victories in the Sky Bet Championship are absolutely huge. Derby has recently won at Preston and Reading and in a matter of five days, they are up and running. We have to approach it in the same way.
“As I’ve already said to the players, said again today and will say again tomorrow – we need more of the same.
“Confidence will be a bit higher, as winning always helps everyone. Now the first win has come, we need to do it again. We cannot drop our levels.
“The group is ready for the challenge, because as we know this league can be very tough when you least expect it.
“Bolton have been quite similar to us in the early stages of the season and have got themselves going now. We have to be ready for them.
“We’ve got two home games now and we want to make our ground a fortress if we can, so we can pick up points in both games.”
Joe Murphy (calf) and Mark Hudson (ankle) are sidelined once again, whilst Chris explained the other situations on the injury front going into Saturday:
“James Vaughan is still trying to get himself fit – he’s around seven to 10 days away and we’ll see where Jonathan Hogg is today after we lost him to injury last Saturday. Otherwise, I think everyone came through the game in midweek.”
Powell finished by explaining the interest in free agent striker Shola Ameobi hasn’t progressed in the last week when asked in his weekly press conference:
“We’ve been away, so it was put on the back burner. We’ve talked to him and hopefully something will come of it, one way or another. He is completely unattached, so there is no rush.”