CHRIS POWELL cut a dejected figure last February at The Valley after his first return to a club he had served admirably for more than a decade.
The reason was simple, his Huddersfield Town side had been rolled over in a hugely disappointing manner by Charlton Athletic in a 3-0 defeat.
Tonight, the Terriers manager is adamant there can be no repeat as the Yorkshire club looks to bounce back from what has been their worst start to a season in 18 years.
“My time there as a player and also as manager is no secret,” said Powell, who received a tremendous reception from the locals ahead of last term’s first return since being sacked.
“It was a good club for me and I will shake everyone’s hands. But I am at Huddersfield Town now and we go there knowing what we have to do. Once the whistle blows, we must do ourselves justice.
“We didn’t do that at The Valley last year in front of a big crowd, so let’s hope that changes in our favour this year.”
Powell returns to south London tonight with a squad that has been left decimated by injury. Captain Mark Hudson, goalkeeper Joe Murphy and James Vaughan are all missing once again, while Jonathan Hogg is a huge doubt after limping out of the weekend defeat at Cardiff City.
It means the Terriers manager must again turn to his band of loanees after four made their debut in south Wales. Jamie Paterson made the biggest impression of that quartet after Powell tweaked the formation to 4-2-3-1 with Nahki Wells playing as the lone frontman.
Elliott Ward also did well at the back, though, and Town will be hoping for more of the same tonight from the defender.
Powell, whose struggling side sit second bottom in the fledgling table with just three draws from six games, added: “We have good players here. They are a good group and they want to do well.
“I have a few new players that I am getting to know, let alone their team-mates out there alongside them. But there is lots to like about them.
“It has to turn in our favour soon, because we don’t want to be cut adrift in the league table. Now we have to step forward and believe in ourselves”
Last six games: Charlton Athletic DDWWLD, Huddersfield Town LDDDLL.
Referee: C Breakspear (Surrey). Last time: Charlton Athletic 3 Huddersfield Town 0; February 28, 2015; Championship.