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Blues boss on facing Doncaster

12 February 2019

Chris Powell looks ahead to tonight's Sky Bet League One clash against Doncaster Rovers as his side travels to the Keepmoat Stadium in search of another point or possibly points away from home...

On the Charlton draw...

“It’s a case of going again for the players this week, I thought they were magnificent in adversity really I mean we started off very positive and kind of took the game to them for a while and there was a bit of toing and froing but of course the goal really helped us from Stephen (Humphrys). 

I know it took a deflection, but I’ve said to them we’ve got to shoot, we need to shoot more I keep saying it because we’ve got players that can get the goals and it’s great for Stephen who has three goals in four games now.  

The goal kept us on the front foot, and we had to defend well, and I felt every player played their part in that, but the turning point is the sending off. It’s harsh but I can see why he gave it, Dru quite clearly slipped but the contact is very high, and the referee has one instant decision to make and unfortunately for us and Dru it wasn’t what we wanted.  

“I thought that the players actually rallied around the decision and Simon Cox ended up playing on the left wing until half-time and we said to the players, you will be under pressure in the game but there will be opportunities to go forward and we certainly had those moments, and the players all put in a real shift and were backed by nearly 1,500 supporters.  

“I couldn’t have asked for any more, and I wanted us to score right at the end which nearly happened, but to take a point in those circumstances was really heartening to see and on the backdrop of our previous game I thought the players really stood up to the test. But it’s about doing it again and again and again and I have to ask for that from all the players in the remaining 15 games. 

On adapting the style of play for different oppositions...

We’ve had to look at what’s right for us and what will give us the best chance of winning the game, the best chance of not conceding and also what’s the best way for us to be solid because you can’t be too open away from home, but equally you have to have that balance in the team. 

“It’s a balance of being on the front foot and attack minded but also making sure we are in the right areas to nullify them (the opposition). It brings up questions like can someone like Michael Kightly go again on Tuesday, after not playing for a while?

"Do you look at maybe freshening things up? It’s always hard to find a balance as a manager because you want the same personnel to go out there and do great, but then you also want that freshness and the energy which I felt we showed a lot of against Charlton. 

“We spoke about it a lot all of last week, the fact that we have to show that running power and that attitude to do the work because you will get those opportunities that you play for. 

“We trained on Monday and travel on Tuesday, and we’ve trained with everyone and they all know what to do against Doncaster, and we will go there ready for the game and play our part in trying to earn this club three points or at least a point. 

On Doncaster Rovers...

John Marquis is a key player for Doncaster and there’s no doubt about that, but equally they’ve got a special way of playing, and Grant [McCann] has done well with them throughout the season. 

“They’ve got a big game on Sunday against Crystal Palace, but I think that they possibly see this game as bigger one. I know the FA Cup is a great lift for them and I know they haven’t been in the fifth round for a very long time, but I think that because of the position they are in, they will want to do their best to keep their form going.

"The FA Cup game is a bonus match for them, and it’s on Sunday so they’ve got an extra day of recovery, whereas we play Portsmouth at half-past 12 on Saturday, so we’ve both got different things to think about. 

“But for now it's about this game and its about us looking after James CoppingerMallik Wilks and Marquis, but the midfielders have done very well this year for them. They have a style of play that hasn’t really changed this season so we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for them.

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