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“It’s a long way to Wembley, we’ve got three group games to get through and I want us to get positive results."

4 September 2018

Chris Powell faces his first Checkatrade Trophy game in charge of Blues tonight when Cambridge United visit Roots Hall...

Blues progressed through to the knockout stages of the competition last year, but were knocked out by Peterborough United in a 2-0 defeat.

Wembley looms for the two finalists later in the season, and the Blues boss is going into the game with the U's hopes of getting far in the competition.

“We have to move on from Saturday’s defeat," said Powell. "It’s the nature of the game, the nature of the beast and you have to move on pretty quickly, win lose or draw.  

"It’s tough for us because we are missing some key players who I envisage would be main-stays of the team, we are talking Yearwood, Lennon and Dieng, and we are missing them. 

“For a club like us, when we have our strongest 11, and I know what my strongest 11 is, I think we are a match for anyone, but at the moment we have to get through some choppy waters. 

“That’s fine though, it’s the nature of my job and I have to lead and be with my group because what I do know is they want to do well, and I think we can all see, even with the side on Saturday we could have taken something from that game. 

“I spoke to the lads straight after the game, I don’t want them to have any lingering doubts about it or thinking about it, you have to just move on from it pretty quickly.

I know we are six games in and everyone says it’s early and I see that, but I want us to get going, we are in the middle of the table and we want things to go in our favour, but over the course of the season they don’t, so it’s something we have to move on from with the Cambridge game and focus on that. 

We have to focus on what squad we have out, what team we have out and then we go from there. 

Powell faces a selection dilemma this week with the Cypriot's Jason Demetriou and Harry Kyprianou on international duty and the suspensions of Mark Oxley and Michael Kightly ruling them both out.

But it could open the door for the youth players to show the manager what they can do. 

“We have to put in some younger players that’s for certain, but whatever team goes out, as I’ve always said, whether they are playing in the right positions or whether they are doing the job for the team, the one thing they will do is give their absolute all for me and their teammates. 

“The game is going to be tougher than we thought it would be because we do have a number of injuries and suspensions, but it’s a road to Wembley. Watching it last year and looking at Lincoln and Shrewsbury, I thought this would be great for us.

“It’s a long way to Wembley, we’ve got three group games to get through and I want us to get positive results, see if we can progress and see how far we can get in the competition. 

“We’ve got to deal with Cambridge first. It won’t be easy as they're on the back of a good win at the weekend. They lost their previous game, but they got a response and like I've always said it’s about responding, and I want to use this game to respond from last weekend.” 

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