FC Halifax Town 2-0 Weymouth: Wild praises players' attitude and application after seven wins from first 11 games

Town manager Pete Wild says his players and staff deserve a lot of credit for their start to the season after their 2-0 win over Weymouth made it seven wins from 11 games.
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus BranstonPete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

Jordan Slew and Kian Spence scored for Town as they comfortably saw off the strugglers at The Shay.

"It took us about half-an-hour to get going, I wouldn't say we were sluggish but I wouldn't say we snapped into the gears I'd like us to," Wild said.

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"I thought they started well, they dropped us low early and caused us a few problems that we needed to deal with.

"A couple of tactical things we've done to try and liven things up, get things going again, and 30 seconds after we livened it up (by switching Jordan Slew and Harvey Gilmour) we scored.

"So that's pleasing, they're the little tactical things you've got to be pleased with as a manager, when you do things like that.

"Again, the goal comes from something that we work on every day in training, which is getting beyond teams, into the box, and slinging it across goal.

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"They're the types of areas we're trying to infiltrate every game, and we've done it.

"Second-half I thought we were very much in control, and fair play to the subs, when they came on, I just wanted some legs to finish them off and that's why I put Jamie (Allen) on, because I knew he'd stretch them, and then young 'un (Kian Spence) going in the 10, either see the game out or score again, which we did, so I'm really pleased."

Town are third in the National League, just three points off top spot, after 11 matches.

"It's not bad is it," Wild said. "23 on the board, it's important you get points on the board as quickly as possible because you're then not chasing it later in the season.

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"We're really pleased with the start, we're starting to get our players back as well, which makes competition for places even better.

"You look at the bench today, it's probably the strongest bench I've had since I've been at the club.

"And the eight that aren't in the squad could easily play.

"The players and the staff deserve a lot of credit for the start we've had, and I'm really pleased for them all."

When asked if his side's start had been better than he'd expected, Wild said: "I never try and look ahead of the next game. I used to look at 'can we get that out of next month' but I don't anymore, I just look at the next game, and that might be helping us a bit more."

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And on why his side had started the season so well, Wild said: "The players' attitude and application.

"We have three core values, professional attitude, being tactically aware and having a winning mentality.

"They're the three core values the players have come up with, and you can argue that all those three are ringing true at the moment, so we're living by our values, which is probably why we're doing well."

Wild added: "What normally happens when you implement your values is your staff have to drive that and then the players pick the mantle up as they go along.

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"I think what you've seen here is the staff driving it but the players picking that mantle up quite quickly and it doesn't half help when they do that."

On the part that recruitment has played in Town's strong start, Wild said: "Recruitment's everything in football, but it's recruiting the right characters that give you the attitude and application, the right players who we know can deliver for us.

"We place a massive emphasis on recruitment, we're out every week up and down the country looking for the next one, just so we're ready.

"That will never change, because if you get complacent and we stop looking for the next one, we'll just be bang average, and we can't be."

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On goalscorers Slew and Spence, Wild said: "Slew's started really well, people might have questioned why I brought him here but I knew his attitude and application was right, and I was confident in our ability to make him a better player.

"He's certainly doing that at the moment, he's been a breath of fresh air and I'm really pleased for him.

"Young 'un (Spence) has took his chance, he's been brilliant since he came in, but I knew what we had, and he's doing really well, I'm really pleased for him.

"He's listening, learning and doesn't think he's cracked it, which is the biggest thing. And I could say that for a lot of the young players.

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"The best compliment I could give all our young players is the humility they're showing. They're just desperate to get better and he's another example of that."

Midfielder Luke Summerfield wasn't involved in the matchday squad.

"He could just do with another week's training to be ready," Wild said.

"I said to him today that I'd only use him if I needed him and that was the case.

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"It's not bad when you can leave Luke Summerfield off the bench is it."

On defender Jay Benn's progress, Wild said: "He's into his rehab now. We've found out that he doesn't need an operation, so it will be a three-month rehab period."

And on striker Matty Stenson, the Town boss, who confirmed that loanees Jack Vale and Elliot Newby will be eligible for next weekend's FA Cup tie at Pontefract Collieries, said: "He's done two weeks of contact training so he's like the tin man!

"But he's been brilliant, he's put himself about, he's been great around the group, great to have back around it and he's got to keep building himself up.

"We're still on an end of November return with him."