The boss who is 10 weeks and 12 games into his managerial reign is making the most of the third international break of the season to keep his squad at maximum sharpness.
A key phase of the Championship campaign starts with Saturday’s televised home derby against Sheffield Wednesday (12.15), when Powell will seek his fifth Town win.
“The players are putting in the hard yards, both in training and matches, and we are working to add intensity all the time,” said the boss, whose side are 16th.
“It’s crucial to play and work to your optimum, and I am a firm believer that good habits are formed on the training ground. Every session is important.”
After the visit of 13th-placed Wednesday, whose squad includes Town old boy Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Powell’s side go to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday week.
December brings tussles with Brentford (home), Norwich City (away), Birmingham City (home), Rotherham United (away) and Bolton (home) before 2015 starts with the third round of the FA Cup.
Powell could hand a debut to new West Ham United loan signing Diego Poyet against Wednesday, who have won two and drawn the other of their last three games at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The 19-year-old, initially at the John Smith’s Stadium until December 6 (although Powell is already thinking about an extension) has spent the last week training at PPG Canalside and settling into the area.
Taylor-Fletcher is on loan to Wednesday from Leicester City, for whom he scored against Town at the John Smith’s last season.
The 33-year-old featured for the Foxes in this season’s Premier League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
He has made one start, at home to Rotherham United last time out, and two appearances from the bench for Stuart Gray’s side, who haven't won in nine league games.