sport

Robins pleased with Norwood

Huddersfield boss Mark Robins was happy as Oliver Norwood demonstrated just how much his shooting has improved with a fabulous winner in 1-0 victory at Bolton, whose boss Dougie Freedman was left feeling frustrated.

The former Manchester United trainee has, Robins revealed, been working on putting the ball in the net and with two goals in four days, it is clear the extra practice was worthwhile.

Norwood, fresh from scoring in a win over his boyhood club Burnley on Saturday, lit up a drab affair at the Reebok Stadium with a 30-yard rocket which arrowed into the top corner 19 minutes from time and gave the Terriers a 1-0 victory for their third successive triumph.

Asked if Robins, himself a former striker, had been looking to improve Norwood's touch in front of goal, he said: "Funnily enough, yeah!

"Oli is technically outstanding and it's just that belief. We've worked on some of his finishing and shooting, I've spoken with him and he's taken that on board and to some degree he's hitting the ball really well and it's a confidence thing.

"He's a technically gifted player and he deserves that (goal), he's had a good week."

The three points push Robins' men into play-off contention, a marked improvement from their last visit to Bolton when they lost 1-0 in April during a period when they were aiming to preserve their Championship status.

Robins added: "We played really well here last season and didn't come away with a point; it was tough to take because we were in that run in at the end of the season and we were fighting for our lives.

"This year we've come in with a bit of confidence and the players have got a clean sheet. Sometimes you have to grind out a result and they've done that brilliantly."

Wanderers were thwarted by a trio of first-half Alex Smithies saves while the normally prolific Jermaine Beckford fluffed his lines twice late on.

After an eight-game unbeaten run, Dougie Freedman expressed his frustration at back-to-back defeats which is likely to see his team looking nervously over their shoulders once more.

"I thought we did alright. In another game you get two or three goals and away you go, it's comfortable," he said.

"I'm probably more disappointed for the players because they gave themselves a good opportunity with the last seven or eight games to really kick on.

"We've got to pick ourselves up come Saturday; the good thing about the Championship is it does come thick and fast and we've got to take our frustrations out on Doncaster on Saturday."

In a division which has seen three managerial departures since Sunday, the boos which greeted the final whistle will hardly be music to Freedman's ears.

"You're going to have ups and downs," he noted.

"We've had four or five weeks of a lot of ups and you're going to have to take the downs, me as well.

"When the downs come you're going to have to quickly get over that. I can't control the environment of football, it's very impatient. All I can try and control is my decision making and make sure for the best of the football club that we're making progress all the time."