Alex Smithies looked ahead to Town’s latest Championship assignment against Wigan Athletic and urged his teammates: “Forget the past and let’s start from now.”

Chris Powell’s men tackle the Latics in his second game at the helm seeking a first home win in 11 games, and 10 in the league.

Success against a side who have lost their last six matches on the road would stop Town edging closer to their all-time worst home run of 13 games without a win.

 

That spell, which included 12 league outings, came between April and December 2000, and included Steve Bruce’s departure as manager.

Lou Macari was at the helm for the 3-1 Championship victory over Crewe Alexandra which finally ended the long wait.

Now Smithies is desperate to keep the clean sheet (and Town haven’t had one of those in 19 matches) which could underpin a three-point haul for Powell.

The keeper believes Mark Hudson, Town’s deadline-day centre-back signing from Championship rivals Cardiff City, has already made his mark.

The 32-year-old made his debut in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Middlesbrough and Smithies said: “He put his head and body in there to make blocks and clearances.

“He’s vocal as well, and that’s important, because you need good organisation and Mark has a lot of experienced and knowledge.

“We concede twice in Saturday, but that was to a wonder strike from a free-kick and a penalty, and otherwise, I thought we defended well.”

Grant Leadbitter got both Boro goals, the second in injury time after Jon Stead’s 86th-minute leveller, and Smithies added: “It was very frustrating.

“The whole team worked hard and the fans were fantastic, and it’s very disappointing to think you have nicked a point then end up losing the game.

“But we can take a lot from the match and move on. Nobody wants to go so long without a home win, but we can’t look too much into it. We have to start from now.”

While Town are 21st, Wigan are 16th, three points better off, and boss Uwe Rosler admits he is “concerned” by his side’s poor form on their travels.

The latest setback came at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, when Wigan had long spell’s of dominance and led through James Perch before losing 3-1.

“Results-wise, it is a concern,” said the German boss. “At the moment we’re a team that plays our style of football and we believe in that.

“Away from home we have to be resilient and strong when we’re under pressure and it’s not happening.

“There will always be moments when you come under pressure and that’s natural, but then we concede.

“At home it’s different as they back off and we bombard and overpower them and get the first goal and the second goal.”

Rosler added: “I was disappointed that we dropped our intensity at the start of the second half and it started very much from the front.

“Also the willingness to get on the ball dropped. We can’t hold the level for 90 minutes in certain positions – and that we have to address.

“A football game isn’t 45 or 60 minutes, it’s 90, and we have to make sure we can play like we want for that time.”