THAT only two managers – one being Bill Shankly – have steered Huddersfield Town to victory at Portman Road in 21 previous visits that have also brought 15 defeats says everything about how history is against Chris Powell’s men today.
Town, however, will travel in hopeful mood with even the 3-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers that preceded the international break having come after an opening hour in which they more than matched the hosts.
The trick, of course, is to sustain that level of performance that so worried Wolves before half-time across the full 90 minutes – as manager Powell admits.
“’I have spoken to individuals about the fact that there is a quarter of the season nearly gone,” said the Terriers manager, “And there are a lot of areas where we should be better and where we can improve.
“There is no doubt we can do that in all aspects. I won’t just sit here and say, ‘ That is all fine’. “We have done some very, very good things in games but we haven’t sustained it and that has been a problem.
“Look at the Wolves game – we played very well and looked like we would score. But you can’t just do it for 20 minutes – we need to do it for the 90 minutes, as we did for (the wins over) Charlton and Bolton. I have demanded that from them, because they can do it. They are capable – we’ve seen it before.”
If Huddersfield can repeat the level of performance that proved too much for both the Addicks and Trotters, Powell may join Shankly (1959) and Brian Horton (1996) on the small list of the club’s managers to have prevailed at Portman Road.
Powell added: “Mick McCarthy’s teams know their roles, because he is a top quality manager. He has managed in the Premier League, he has done very well wherever he has been.”
Town are still hoping to agree an extension to Elliott Ward’s loan, but a recent flurry of injuries to defenders at Bournemouth could scupper the plan. If no deal can be agreed by noon today, Mark Hudson is likely to return.