Quietly impressive Chris Powell can be talk of the Town

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CHRIS POWELL was greeted by a crowd of nearly 18,000 as he made a losing start to his tenure as Huddersfield Town manager on September 13.

Looking resplendent in a made to measure suit, lightning blue tie, and highly polished shoes, Powell was given a rousing reception by the home faithful as he was introduced to the crowd moments before kick off. On this showing he has certainly won the hotly contested best dressed man in Huddersfield competition.

A new manager is always a cause for optimism for fans, as long as you’ve appointed someone likely to at least raise a flicker of interest. Powell is unquestionably an appointment that does that.

For Huddersfield Town a new manager is not a rarity, and such is the frequency with which they’ve replaced managers in recent years, it’s started to feel less significant.

However, the appointment of Chris Powell is different. This is not just because he is Town’s first black manager, which is significant, but because he joins the club at a time where something needs to change.

The fans aren’t coming to the ground, having become bored of witnessing a side that aren’t good enough to compete with the top sides, but aren’t bad enough to at least be comically entertaining.

With Powell’s debut and a local paper offering tickets for £10, it added 2,000 fans to the average gate, and although the performance was lacking, you’d be hard pressed not to be impressed by Powell.

Standing on the edge of his technical area for much of the first half, he looked measured and calm, never riled by on-pitch action.

He also managed to keep his cool as the match got fiery after a heavy challenge on the Middlesbrough keeper by James Vaughan.

Powell was swiftly confronted by Leo Percovich, the silver haired Boro goalkeeper coach, who was shouting in his face, clearly incensed by the foul. Powell did not react, staying reasoned and placid in what appeared, a rather unpleasant exchange.

As the game progressed, Powell withdrew to the side of his dugout, as his assistant Alex Dyer took over in the technical area, but his substitutions were positive and he will have been pleased with the effort shown by his players.

After the game, he looked despondent and struggled to hide his disappointment at the result; but dealt with the post match questions in a slick and positive manner. He didn’t hide, was honest in his assessment, and spoke very well.

Overall, Powell was quietly impressive. He will be aware of the job that’s ahead of him, but his demeanour was that of a very measured manager, who will work hard to deliver results.

It’s also clear to me that there’s more to Chris Powell than just being a nice guy. There’s a steely determination, that I predict will shine through in the coming weeks.

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