FC Halifax Town: It can’t be a one-off, says Wild ahead of Notts County clash
FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild has urged his side not to let last Saturday’s 4-0 win over Wrexham be a flash in the pan.
The Shaymen host Notts County on Saturday in the first of five games in 15 days, with a trip to Stockport on Boxing Day followed by back-to-back home games with Chesterfield and Stockport, and then a trip to Barnet on January 4.
The win over Wrexham was Halifax’s first in six games, and their first in seven outings at home.When asked what changed from the disappointing performance in the 2-0 defeat at 10-man Yeovil the week before, Wild said: “Work rate, effort, desire - it wasn’t good enough at Yeovil.
“I still stand by my comments that the half-an-hour killed us, but it wasn’t good enough and we addressed that. I’ve had a go at the players and questioned a few things, and we put it right on Saturday, but that can’t be a flash in the pan, we’ve got to do that again this week and prepare for what will be a tough Notts County side coming here on Saturday.
“They’re big, strong, aggressive, they’ve got Football League experience all over the park.
“But there was nothing in the game down there, one mistake won the game.
“But we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves, let’s make sure we’re ready and we’re where we need to be come Saturday. If we match fire with fire, we’ve got a chance.”
When asked if the team that started against Wrexham had done enough to remain in place for Saturday, Wild said: “Let’s see how they train this week. I see them every day, and I know what they can do.
“I know when they’re not fit, I know when they’re off the mark, I know when they’re ill, so I take all that into consideration.”
Midfielder Jeff King has got another seven-to-10 days before he goes back to see if he needs an operation on his broken hand sustained in the 2-0 defeat at Yeovil. With King expected to be Halifax’s only absentee, Wild feels he is in the best place he has been all season in terms of strength-in-depth.
“Jack (Redshaw) did really well on Saturday. I know how good Jack Redshaw is and I know Jack Redshaw will score goals for us, what we’ve got to make sure is we keep producing the chances for him to score the goals that I know he can score. “He was a great addition, but then I look at the bench and McAlinden didn’t get on, Cam King was on there, so there’s 21 lads now pushing for 16 spots, 11 starting spots, and that’s good, that’s what we need, especially at this time of the year.
“We’ll need all the bodies with so many games in such a small space of time, we’re going to need that competition because I need players ready to go when I ask for them.”
Notts County were joint-favourites for promotion at the start of the season, but are five points adrift of Halifax, and come into the game in 12th place in the National League.
“The whole season’s been an achievement so far and we can’t get away from that fact,” Wild said.
“Where we are is an excellent achievement and full credit to the players, but we’re desperate to continue that, desperate to have a good Christmas period and make sure that come January 1, we’re still in the play-offs and still amongst it.
“Christmas is massive for us because if we have a good Christmas we’re going to stay in and around it, so we know the importance of that.
“Come January 4 at Barnet, if we’re still around it then we’ll be 30 games in and be in with a really good chance.
“It was important to get back to winning ways and get a win at home, which hasn’t happened too often recently.
“It’s important we win our home games and we’re hoping now that we’ve addressed that. We’ll work hard all week and make sure that we give the best account of ourselves we can.”
Wild hopes the win over Wrexham has brought to an end a testing time for The Shaymen, who had lost five of their previous nine matches.
“It’s been a tough period, a lot of learning to be done, but winning breeds momentum and hopefully momentum takes us into the next game,” he said.
“It’s another home game and hopefully it’ll be a bumper crowd to drive us forward.”
When asked if he thought Town had turned a corner with the win over Wrexham, Wild said: “We’ll see on Saturday won’t we.”
Town are thought to have three players out-of-contract next month, but Wild insists work is being done behind-the-scenes to extend those deals.
“We’re trying to tie people down but it’s not an easy process,” he said. “If we don’t retain them, I’m confident I’ve got players who are equally as good ready to come in, so I’m prepared for both eventualities.”
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