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ALEX SMITHIES urged Huddersfield Town fans to keep the faith and admitted: "We let you down on Saturday."

The highly-rated young keeper insisted the players felt the pain as much as the 3,270 travelling supporters who swarmed across the Pennines to outnumber the Bury contingent.

There were grim faces boarding the team bus after Town squandered a big lead for the second time in four days.

The Terriers were 2-0 up at Stevenage on Tuesday before being pegged back to 2-2.

Compensation seemed to await when the side were 3-0 ahead after half-an-hour at Gigg Lane, only for Bury to snatch a point in stoppage time.

Smithies said: "Once again it feels like a defeat and the lads are devastated.

"There’s no doubt about it we should have won the game, both against Bury and on Tuesday.

"We have let the fans down but I know we have the character in the dressing room to get us back up there. It’s not over."

Sheffield United also blew a 2-0 lead to crash 3-2 at home to Oldham, meaning Town missed a golden chance to reduce the Blades’ lead to just three points.

"We are very disappointed by that," said Smithies. "We could have cut the points gap between us and Sheffield United but their result and others show that all the teams around us are capable of dropping points.

"There are plenty of games left and plenty of time to get results, which is what we have to do.

"We are still right in there, only five points away from Sheffield United. That’s only two games and we can catch them up.

"We just need to grind a few wins out and get that second spot. We are still trying to get automatic promotion, there’s no doubt about that. It’s not over yet by a long way."

Smithies said the fans had a massive role to play over the remaining matches and urged them to stick by the team.

"Town fans know we never do things the easy way," he said. "We always seem to make it interesting!

"We wish we could run away with it but I assure everyone we are doing our very best.

"The fans came out in numbers on Saturday and we have let them down in a way," added Smithies.

"When they get behind us they are a fantastic set of fans and we are very thankful for their support."

Smithies urged the fans to back the team in numbers again tomorrow for the home game against Hartlepool and said: "At least we don’t have long to wait for the next game.

"All the players are looking forward to the Hartlepool game. The fans have been fantastic and if they can show that support for the remaining games we can be up there."

Smithies said there were "a number of things we can improve on" – such as defending at setpieces – but he insisted the squad was strong enough to see the job through.

"The critics can say what they like but we have good enough players to get automatic promotion and that is still our target," he said.

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