CHRIS POWELL is adamant that today’s match at a near sold-out Valley will not be a sideshow to his own return to a club he served as player and manager – even if the Huddersfield Town manager admits to crying so easily that he “should have been in Hollywood”.
The Terriers chief will definitely be the star attraction in south London today with Charlton Athletic fans planning a minute’s applause in honour of someone who made 270 appearances across three spells and then led the club out of League One as manager.
Powell, however, wants a fixture that is expected to attract a crowd of 25,000 due to a cut-price £5 ticket deal to be all about Town claiming the three points.
“I should have been in Hollywood because I can cry quite easily,” said Powell when asked if he would be emotional at 3pm today.
“It is quite a long walk to the away dugout (from the dressing room) but I know where it is. The main thing is we need to carry on what we have been doing. I don’t want it (his return) to be a sideshow so I want to get it out of the way.”
Town head to south London buoyed by a month that has brought eight points from five games, a run that has lifted them into the top half of the table.
The last two fixtures have also yielded clean sheets and Powell paid tribute to both the defence and goalkeeper Alex Smithies, who this week signed a contract to keep him at Town until at least 2018.
“Alex is the top goalkeeper in the Championship, without a doubt,” said the Terriers manager. “He has got over 200 games behind him at 24 and they (goalkeepers) don’t peak until their 30s. He has still got six years to get to that.
“When you are at the academy, you get overlooked by players that come in, but we should be proud that we have developed – and are still developing – a good goalkeeper.”