Powell planning pragmatic approach at Town

CHRIS POWELL is seeking substance over style in his quest to obliterate a damning statistic for Huddersfield Town.

Huddersfield Town manager Chris Powell.

Powell will lead out Town for the first time in tomorrow’s home clash with Middlesbrough, the first instalment of a double-header at the John Smith’s Stadium with Wigan due in on Tuesday.

Much may have been made over Town’s adherence to patient, passing football during the reign of Mark Robins and while Powell, in an ideal world, wants to entertain, he is also prepared to be pragmatic.

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It is a shrewd philosophy, with Town, 21st in the Championship – without a home win in nine matches – with their last success coming back on March 1.

Powell is also savvy enough to appreciate what his immediate priority is for Town, namely getting back to basics, with only Carlisle having conceded more league goals so far this term.

Powell, conscious of Town’s leakage of 14 goals in five games, said: “You want to do well at home, it is the mainstay of any season.

“It’s a big pitch here and we have got to be expansive when we have the ball, but as compact as we can and make it difficult for teams to break through us.

“In some ways, we need to go back to basics as we have not had a clean sheet. You have that and you have a base to do anything.

“We need to be strong and resolute and defend in numbers when we have to, with everyone knowing their roles. I am a big stickler for that; I don’t want people looking around saying ‘I was not aware of this and that’.”

The addition of an old-fashioned centre-half and leader in vastly-experienced Mark Hudson – with whom Powell worked at Charlton – will add some much-needed defensive ballast, although the new Town chief says he has no intention of handing the captain’s duties to him, with Lee Peltier retaining the armband.

Powell said: “Mark has been a captain at all his clubs and has leadership skills straightaway and I have asked him to bring that to the table.

“He will improve the communication and organisational levels and I am sure the fans will like that. You need your solid citizens and soldiers out there.

“But we have a captain in Lee Peltier and I see no need to go near that.”