FC Halifax Town 1-2 Maidenhead United: "We're a work in progress" says Wild after opening-day defeat

Town boss Pete Wild described his side as a "work in progress" after their 2-1 defeat to Maidenhead United on the opening day of the season.

Saturday, 21st August 2021, 5:48 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st August 2021, 5:50 pm
Pete Wild

Billy Waters put Halifax in-front, but second-half goals from Sam Barratt and substitute Kane Ferdinand turned the game on its head.

"I think that can be put down to 'work in progress'," said Wild, "I think there were some elements of our game that were very good, our build-up play, but we weren't ruthless enough in both boxes and that's been our undoing.

"There are lots of positives but Sam's had to pull off three good saves and they scored two goals, so we're nowhere near where we need to be yet."

But Wild felt the positives outweighed the negatives on the day.

"Of course they do, we've spent large parts in their half but there's no point in doing that if you don't score goals," Wild said.

"That was the first thing on my flip chart today, we wanted to have quick, progressive play, but there's got to be a ruthlessness at the end of it, and I don't think there was."

When asked how far off Town's performance was from where he'd like it to be, Wild said: "That's 50 per cent, but it's a good 50 per cent. The fans have got to go away from that saying 'well, you can see what he's trying to do, he's trying to play the right way'.

"But we've still got a bit to go, we know that. We aren't going to start slinging it or change the way we play, we've got a way of doing things because it works.

"Unfortunately, along the way, there will be mistakes. Luke Summerfield's dominated the ball all afternoon, but I'm not going to start pulling him up for that (slip for Maidenhead's second goal)."

More than 1,500 fans were at The Shay for the game.

"There was a right buzz around the place, I was disappointed we couldn't deliver for them," Wild said of the home supporters.

"But it'll come. We can all see that if we play like that, we'll win more than we lose, so we've just got to keep going.

"The league's over 44 games, not one game in August. It shows we've got to keep working hard, we've got to do things better, and that's what we'll do."

Jay Benn was handed his first start for The Shaymen.

"Jay's one of our own, we've been nurturing him. I thought patches of his game today were really good," Wild said.

"He hasn't cracked it by any stretch, he's got stuff he needs to work on, but that'll do him the world of good, to get through 90 minutes.

"He was on his knees at the end there because the tempo of the game was ridiculous for him.

"He's got to keep working hard at his game and take his chances when they come."

Midfielder Kian Spence wasn't involved in the matchday 16.

"He wasn't in the squad. Look at the bench today, it's strong, we've got a fully fit squad and unfortunately some lads didn't make the bench," Wild said.

There was also no substitute keeper for Halifax.

When asked if that will be the case for the season, Wild said: "We'll see.

"The seven subs was voted down by the chairmen of the league, all the managers to a man wanted it but unfortunately that's not transferred to the chairmen, it was voted down, which was very disappointing, because I think it's a step back for the league."