ALEX SMITHIES believes a safety-first defensive policy will help propel Huddersfield Town to promotion from League I.
Simon Grayson’s side head to Colchester on Saturday unbeaten under their manager – but desperate to provide him with a third win in six games.
Town twice let the lead slip at home to Rochdale last Saturday and Smithies said: “The only place where they could have put the ball was in the top corner and they found it both times.
“I did my best to save them. I dived and got a finger tip to both shots, but it’s never enough when players are finishing like that.
“It’s perhaps the build up where we need to improve. You shouldn’t be giving chances to shoot as players at this level can punish you.
“Dealing with the first ball is important. If, on their first goal, it’d been dealt with rather than letting it bounce and then giving it away, we’d have gone in at half-time 1-0 up.
“As a keeper, defence and stopping the ball going into the net is my priority. If putting the ball into Row Z more often helps with that then I’m all for it.
“We scored so late in the first half that if we’d kept them out they’d have gone in at the break with their heads down. But they hit back straight away and it stopped our momentum.
“Lee Novak and Jordan Rhodes combined really well to put us back in front. But we weren’t able to keep the lead.”
Town are fourth ahead of the trip to Essex, but Smithies remains optimistic on automatic promotion.
He added: “We know we’ve drawn too many games. But I don’t think there’s too much to be down about.
“The new manager’s come in and he’s not made massive changes because he thinks there’s not a lot wrong. He’s just trying to make a few tweaks.
“When I look around the dressing room I see what’s probably the best squad in the division. We’ve 11 games to go and I fancy us to do it.”
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