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POWELL: WIN WAS A LONG TIME COMING

16 September 2015

Chris comments on the 2-1 win at Charlton

- Chris Powell reviews win at Charlton
- Manager explains bold team selection
- Chris delighted with performance of the players

Town Manager Chris Powell was a happy man after seeing his side record a first win of 2015/16 at Charlton Athletic this evening.

“This win was a long time coming for us. We’ve been close in a number of games, but as anyone will tell you the margins are fine in the Championship,” Chris told htafc.com after the final whistle.

“We played pretty well in our recent games and should have won at Fulham only to concede late on and it feared it would happen again tonight given the place we’re in.

“They’ve been close before but, as I’ve just said to the players, this is now the standard they’ve set.” 

Chris made four changes to his side, which included full Town debuts for Emyr Huws and Mustapha Carayol whilst leaving out top scorer Nahki Wells. Chris explained his thinking:

“I thought we executed our game plan to a tee, especially in the first half, and that has earned us three points at the end of the evening. 

“I thought a lot about the team and watched Charlton’s first half against Rotherham against yesterday. We stayed down south and did some work with the squad and I told the players today what was expected of them and I thought all the players were magnificent. I spoke to the Chairman last night and told him his team would do him proud. 

“Nahki Wells is our top scorer – I love him and he’s a big player for us – but I felt I had to go this way this evening. He will most probably play on Saturday. 

“Harry Bunn was excellent on Saturday and I thought Muzzy Carayol needed a start as his pace would bring us up the pitch, like Sean Scannell does. Harry is a goal-scorer; he got nine last year and I think he can equal that. He has an eye for goal and is a hard worker.

“Special mention must go to Ishmael (Miller), because that was the type of performance he put in last season. He has a bit of catching up to do, but I thought tonight he gave their centre backs a tough game.

“Elliott Ward was good again in his second game for us, as was Jed Steer in goal. I could go through all the team.”

Powell also explained why goal scorer Emyr Huws was replaced during the half time interval:

“The plan with Emyr was for him to be on the bench and get 15 minutes, but when Jonathan Hogg got injured on Saturday he had to come on for half an hour at Cardiff. He’s an elegant, good player with an eye for a pass and offers creativity going forward. The fans will like him.

“I hoped to get an hour out of him tonight, but I must say his 45 minutes was very good! His delivery from corners and wide free kicks was good and he scored from a central area. We’ve struggled a bit with set plays since I’ve been manager, but now I have two or three good options. I’m pleased for him. We can’t rush him, but equally I hope he is fit for the weekend. 

“I would like to mention Phil Billing. It was hard for him after the first half Emyr had, but he couldn’t carry on and I had to make the decision to bring Phil or Kyle Dempsey on. For a young man he stands out – you can’t miss him – and it will be good for him. Hopefully that’s his career up and running. 

“We ended with quite a young team, but it was marshalled really well by Dean Whitehead; I though the captain led by example.” 

After the run of six league games without victory was ended, Chris admitted that he has had to work hard to keep the belief in the squad:

“I understand how football works, but it has been a tough period. We’ve brought players in and it’s been a tough time for them as they gel and get to know one another, but being away over the weekend has helped that.

“Results dictate confidence, but we know we haven’t been far away. Tonight it all came together and that’s the difference. 

“We’ve tried to keep our cool, but we’ve been through it as much as the fans have. We know we’re in a results business, but if the team plays well then all the better. 

“I’m enjoying West Yorkshire and I want that to continue. I’ve always kept my belief that this group of players can do it and I’ve shown them I think that.” 

Chris’ final words were reserved for the 330 Town fans at the Valley:

“London is a long way for our fans to come on a Tuesday night, but we got our first three points of the season.”


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