FC Halifax Town: Town boss admits the pressure is on

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin

Neil Aspin accepts the pressure is on after his FC Halifax Town side lost 2-1 to West Yorkshire neighbours Guiseley.

CJ Hamilton put Town into a deserved lead, but the hosts fought back with a goal in either half from Will Hatfield and a Liam Dickinson penalty.

The defeat leaves Halifax with one win from their first 10 games, but Aspin wants his players to stay focused on their performances.

“We’re in the bottom four and we need to get out of it,” he said.

“Of course there’s pressure, there’s pressure on me, but the players have got to try and relax and get on with playing the game.

“They can’t worry about results, they’ve just got to try and get their performance levels right and that’s all they’ve got to focus on.”

Aspin was satisfied with his team’s display at Nethermoor, but said Matty Brown’s rash tackle in conceding the penalty was a costly error.

“I’m very disappointed because I thought some of our play in the first 30 minutes was excellent,” he said.

“I thought we made some good chances, didn’t take them, and then obviously we’ve not kept a clean sheet this season and again that’s been a failure.

“We’ve let them back in the game when we were playing well.

“Although we didn’t play as well in the second-half I felt comfortable in the game, we were still pushing forward without making the chances we did in the first-half.

“It was a mistake and that’s cost us the game, a bad decision to go for a tackle in the box and at the moment when you’re down at the bottom then those things go against you.

“But I’m not here to make excuses. I thought the players worked hard, they were positive, even though we’re in a bad position in the league.

“We’ve just got to keep working hard, keep trying and hopefully it’ll turn.

“But I don’t think for most of the game we looked like a bottom-of-the-table team.”

As happy as Aspin was with his team’s start, he was disappointed at the defending for Hatfield’s equaliser.

“We haven’t started well in games and tonight we did,” he said.

“It was a fantastic goal and I thought for 30 minutes CJ was absolutely tremendous.

“Good movement, pace, good control, he was a threat in behind, scored a great goal and he deserved more than his one goal, I thought he was excellent.

“But the equaliser’s a poor goal defensively, we had enough bodies there to close the shot down but unfortunately it’s gone in the net and that’s what’s happening at the moment.

“It’s difficult fr everyone connected with the club but we’ve got to keep going and get some results.”

Town started with a 3-5-2 formation, which Aspin felt worked well.

He said: “We’ve had four games away and in three of those we’ve conceded three goals so you’ve got to try something different.

“It worked pretty well and then they made a change at half-time and I felt they were getting two against one on the left-hand side so we made a change ourselves.

“Obviously it’s difficult for anyone coming into our side at the moment with the position we’re in but the young lads who are playing are doing a good job.”

One of that back three was debutant Julian Banton, another Sheffield United loanee, who impressed the Town boss.

“When you take lads from under 21s some are not as physically made up as other lads in the league,” he said.

“But Julian is a physically strong lad and she showed his strength tonight.

“It’s a step-up for him and he’s another one that is learning the game and they’re all making a contribution.”

Aspin felt Guiseley adapted well after the interval, and coped better with Town’s threat going forward.

“Guiseley defended better in the second-half, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“They didn’t give us the space to go down the sides and they made it more difficult for us to get in.

“But I wouldn’t say they were creating us problems.

“You’re not going to come away at this moment in time and dominate a game for 90 minutes.

“We’re the struggling team after all. I thought some of the football we played tonight was good.

“It’s disappointing again but we’ve got to try and build on the positives from that.”

But Aspin admitted Town have simply conceded too many goals at the start of the season, with Halifax yet to keep a clean sheet.

He added: “The statistics don’t lie and if you’ve played 10 games and let in 20 goals then you know you haven’t defended well and that has been the reason we’re down there, there’s no doubt about that.

“You can’t keep conceding two goals a game and expect to be winning matches.

“We must eradicate that, but we can’t keep saying it, it’s got to change.

“We have changed personnel but at the end of the day, again, it’s a mistake.

“You can’t make mistakes if you want to keep clean sheets.”