FC Halifax Town: I want the job, says caretaker-manager Harvey

Jim Harvey
Jim Harvey

Caretaker-boss Jim Harvey wants to be given the manager’s job on a permanent basis at FC Halifax Town after leading them to a 4-1 win at Gateshead.

Darren Kelly was sacked as manager last week, with his assistant Harvey taking temporary charge for only Town’s third league win of the season.

The former Morecambe boss is interested in taking on the role permanently and was delighted with the response he got from his players.

He said: “It’s been a difficult week because I was pretty close to Darren and for him to lose his job was very disappointing and hard to take.

“But life goes on, we had to kick on and I’m really pleased to say we’ve had a terrific performance from the players and you think ‘where has that been boys?’

“They were solid in all departments and considering we’ve conceded so many goals recently they didn’t look like conceding at all.

“They were really disciplined in their performances and everything I asked they came up with the answers and put a real good shift in.

“I was delighted and so are they, and it’s great for the supporters. We had a good number over there and when they’ve been watching some of the rubbish they have been it’s good for them.”

Harvey admitted Town have shipped far too many goals of late and focused his pre-match preparations on tightening up at the back, which he felt paid dividends.

He said: “The goals against situation has been ridiculous so the whole focus was on a clean sheet, and if we get an opportunity to score during the course of the game, we’ll let that happen.

“But I wanted everyone to go out there and focus on stopping the opposition from scoring, and from that point of view, I was very happy with the shape and the application.

“As the game went on the boys were getting bigger and stronger and there were some excellent performances in there.”

Goalkeeper Russell Griffiths was sent-off in the first-half just before Gateshead’s equaliser, but the caretaker-boss felt referee Michael Salisbury was wrong to dismiss the youngster.

“I thought it was a little bit harsh,” Harvey said. “Their forward player has got the ball first, he’s had his effort on goal, he’s missed it.

“We had a couple of boys tracking the ball to safety so I think the referee’s got it wrong, I think he made a poor decision there, although Russell was a little bit slow coming to collect the ball.

“He could’ve got there first, hesitated, and then lost the opportunity, but I thought the referee was harsh sending him off.”

But Harvey was delighted with the team’s response after being reduced to 10-men.

“You think ‘here we go’ but it was excellent to get forward and get than early goal,” he said. “It brought a little bit of confidence back into the team again and gave them encouragement to hang in there, fight and battle.

“To go that length with only 10 men was a tremendous effort and at times you wouldn’t have thought it was us who had the 10 men.

“Some of the football was excellent and certainly the character - the squad has a lot of big hearts, a lot of gutsy boys who want to do the work but sometimes they’ve been a little bit mis-directed, mis-guided perhaps.

“But there’s certainly a lot of character in the team.”

Harvey was delighted with hat-trick hero Shaun Tuton’s performance, and praised the striker’s attitude.

“I think Shaun can score a lot of goals, I think he has that ability,” he added.

“He’s strong, he’s powerful. Not always consistent with his work but what he has got is his attitude and determination is just incredible.

“He goes into situations where you think he’s lost the ball, but how he does I’m not sure, but by strength and determination, he bulldozes through and comes out with possession and then he’s able to go on and score.

“You’ve got to admire that determination in someone and that character.

“He’s getting rewards for his efforts at the moment which is great to see.”