Hogan targets a play-off spot

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Liam Hogan has admitted that it may be too tall an order for the Shaymen to catch Blue Square bet North high flyers Hyde and Stalybridge.

But the influential centre back knows that a top five finish is well within Halifax Town’s grasp.

Leaders Hyde are 19 points better off than the Shaymen going into the second half of the season while second placed Stalybridge have an 11-point advantage over Neil Aspin’s side.

But Guiseley are just five points in front of Town and Nuneaton four while Boxing Day opponents Gainsborough are two points in front.

“We have not had the best of first halves to the season, but we are in and around the play offs where we should be,” he said.

“Hyde and Stalybridge have taken off and no one is sure whether they can be caught.

“But if we are in the play offs at the end of the season, it would be good considering the start we made.”

Town have found a bit of form in the past few weeks with three successive wins taking them to within touching distance of the top five.

“It was games like Hinckley away where we slipped up,” said Hogan. “That put us in the position where we were having to chase other teams.

“Now we have won three in a row and we are in a good position again.

“The lads have worked hard over the past few weeks, rectifying some of the mistakes we were making that were costing us points and we have looked comfortable in the last few matches.”

Hogan will be available for the Boxing Day trip to Gainsborough - Ryan Toulson serves a one-match ban - having missed the win over Hinckley last weekend through suspension.

And he admitted that he had been disappointed with the manner of his fifth booking which triggered the one match ban.

“I wasn’t happy with the free kick that led to the fifth booking,” he said, “And I reacted.

“There are fines in place at the club to stop you doing that, but it was down to frustration.

“I hadn’t realised I was on four bookings at the time and with Scott McManus also on four we posed a bit of a problem for the Gaffer. “But the defence did well on Saturday.”

Having missed the 6-1 win six days ago, Hogan is raring to go for the Festive double header - at Northolme on Monday and back at the Shay on January 1.

“I was involved most of last season and most of this,” he said.

“I don’t like missing games but it was a welcome break and I can come back refreshed for the Gainsborough game - if selected.

“My aim is to be involved in as many games as possible to the end of the season and try to cement us in the play offs and see what we can do with Hyde and Stalybridge.”