FC Halifax Town: Shaymen can bounce back, says former boss Wilder

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and assistant Alan Knill.
FC Halifax Town v Sheffield United.  Pre-season friendly.  19 July 2016. Picture Bruce Rollinson
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and assistant Alan Knill. FC Halifax Town v Sheffield United. Pre-season friendly. 19 July 2016. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Former Town boss Chris Wilder is upbeat about Halifax’s chances of bouncing back from relegation this season after watching his Sheffield United side’s defeat at The Shay on Tuesday.

Wilder was impressed by The Shaymen and sees no reason why they can’t challenge for promotion this season.

The Blades boss also liked the look of the East Stand, which has been redeveloped since he left the club in 2008.

“They’ve put some seats in it now!

“It’s always been a good atmosphere and the supporters have always got behind the players, which they did again during the game,” he said.

“They’ll be disappointed with their league campaign last season but their cup exploits were outstanding.

“I always keep an eye on them and I’m made-up what happened for them at Wembley.

“Hopefully they have a successful season. There’s no reason why they won’t with everyone pulling in the same direction and I’ll be watching them closely.

“I’m sure they’ll bounce back from a disappointing season last season.”

Wilder thanked the Halifax fans for his reception before Tuesday’s game, when he received a warm round of applause from the home supporters on what was his first return to the club as a manager since his departure in 2008.

Halifax went on to beat his United side thanks to second-half goals from Connor Hughes and Richard Peniket.

Wilder said: “I appreciate the reception I got and I’d like to thank the supporters.

“I think they appreciated the difficult times I had here.

“We did the job to the best of our ability and I’ve always said I’d never change a thing from my experience here.

“It was good and bad, there were some rough and rocky times throughout the period - it was up and down.

“But we always gave our all and I think northern people, and especially people in Halifax, recognise that and I appreciate that.

“But I don’t like coming back and getting beat and from our point of view it’s a wake-up call to know where we’re at and we’ve still got a lot of work to before the start of the season.”

On how he rated Halifax on the night, Wilder said: “I thought they were strong and positive. They’ve got some good players.

“They were together, as all Billy’s teams are, they always work hard and are hard to beat.

“That’s what we expected but I wanted that sort of challenge and we certainly got it.”