He might have been a full-back himself, but Chris Powell loves to see a winger in full flow.
That’s why Town’s manager is keen for Sean Scannell prove he has recovered from the illness which affected him at Derby this week in time to face Fulham at Craven Cottage today.
Powell’s side go into the final game before the third international break of the campaign – England have a Euro qualifier against Slovenia at Wembley a week today before tackling Scotland in a challenge match in Glasgow on Tuesday, November 18 – with their sights set on a fifth win in nine games.
The Championship’s 15th-placed team were unbeaten in seven before the 3-2 setback at Pride Park, where Scannell was feeling distinctly below par on his 16th appearance, and 11th start, of the campaign.
“In retrospect, perhaps he shouldn’t have played, but it’s testament to Sean that he wanted to be involved,” said Powell of the 24-year-old, whose elder brother Damian aims to help Conference South Bromley claim the FA Cup first-round scalp of non-league neighbours Dartford today.
“But since then, I’ve seen him eating breakfast at the training ground, which is a good sign, and we will give him every chance to show he is right.”
Powell has been praised for coaxing the most consistent spell of form from Scannell since he was signed from Crystal Palace in 2012.
But the boss insisted: “It’s down to the player. He has done it himself and he is the one who has to go out there and perform under pressure.
“When I came, there was a lot of talk of Millwall making a bid, and I remember a supporter asking me why we hadn’t let him go there.
“My answer was that we have a match-winner on our hands.
“I wanted to give him a chance, then it’s down to him.
“I have also shown him a bit of love, and I think he has responded.
“All players are different. Some want to know they are a part of your plans.
“There aren’t too many players in our squad, or even the division, who can do what Sean does.
“He can bring the team up the pitch, he can beat players, he can create chances and he can score the odd goal.
“Now we need real consistency, and I think he’s getting there.
“A fit and flying Sean Scannell is a real weapon. Just look at the way he played against Blackpool and Nottingham Forest.
“Even though I was a full-back, I love to see good old-fashioned wing play. It’s entertaining.
“Want your side to score goals first and foremost, but it’s nice to see a bit of skill as well.”
Jonathan Hogg is a big doubt to face Fulham because of the thigh injury which has kept him out of the last two games while James Vaughan remains out with his calf injury.
But Powell says his squad is holding up well otherwise, adding: “It’s been a heavy workload of late so we have tried to maximise recovery in the last few days.
“It’s a last push ahead of another international break and we want to make sure we put in a proper display in front of a big travelling support.
“We want to get a win to go into the free fortnight with momentum and have that buoyancy as we prepare for our big home derby against Sheffield Wednesday (a fortnight today).”
Wednesday are in Yorkshire derby action against Rotherham United at Hillsborough today.
As today’s game is the closest to Remembrance Day, Town are due to wear their red and black change kit with poppies added to the shirts.