FC Halifax Town 2-1 Solihull Moors: Wild praises character of his side after Solihull win

Pete Wild
Pete Wild

FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild said their 2-1 win over Solihull Moors showed the character of his team.

Two goals by Liam McAlinden were enough to earn Halifax's sixth win in eight games, despite Alex Nicholls getting one back for Solihull.

"I thought we did enough to win the game but it certainly wasn't pretty," said Wild.

"We had to scrap, it was a scrappy match. When we went 1-0 up I thought we'd done enough to be 1-0 up, and I thought we contained them well first-half.

"The message was 'go out second-half and back that up'. I didn't think we did that, I thought we were a little bit off it.

"When we did score the second goal I thought 'oh that'll settle us down now'. Unfortunately it didn't.

"It was a poor goal to give away, one long ball, we should be defending that better, and I've said that.

"Then your captain goes down injured as well.

"But one thing I will say is that again you've seen the character of the group, you've seen the resilience of the group.

"Special mention's got to go to Nathan Clarke, certainly in that last 20 minutes, he stood up to the plate and he's won header after header.

"Fair play to him for that because we needed it."

Solihull started the game in a 5-4-1 formation, but it took Town only 15 minutes to make the breakthrough.

"When you've lost a couple of games you become more conservative as a coach," Wild said of Solihull.

"They've tried to get bodies behind the ball, but we've got in us haven't we.

"We'll get chances and we're taking chances. We could take more of them, but you've got to be happy with that."

Wild left out Cameron King in place of his namesake Jeff.

"It was just to give Cam a rest," explained the Town boss. "We wanted to press them high, and let's be honest, Cam's game isn't going pressing people high out of possession.

"I just thought with how well McAlinden pressed high on Monday that we'll have more of that, because that's what we'll need today, and I thought my decision was justified.

"Cam just needs a break. He's been excellent for us, and he'll be excellent for us throughout the season.

"But I've got to make tactical decisions at times that are best for the team, and sometimes that might mean that players that are our flair players might miss out."

Wild praised his side's defensive display, with some impressive performances from Nathan Clarke, Josh Staunton and Michael Duckworth.

"The cornerstone of why we've done well this month is our back six or seven, and that's going to be the case throughout the season" Wild said.

"When we get on the break, we've got pace in abundance, and we're showing that again and again.

"We've got to keep doing that."

But when asked about the work-rate of his side, Wild said: "That's a gimme. In my teams, you've got to work as hard as you can.

"I say to them every single week that fans will buy mistakes, what they won't buy is people who don't work hard enough.

"That's a gimme in my teams. If you don't work hard you don't play."

Wild is not getting too excited by Town's start, which sees them in second place after eight matches.

"Across the whole month we've played some big teams that have spent a lot of money, and we've matched them," he said.

"But it means nothing if you don't keep backing it up.

"We've got 19 points on the board. In my eyes we've got to get another 31, and then we can all start thinking about different things.

"We've just got to keep doing what we're doing. The lads are working hard, they've got to keep doing that and not get carried away with themselves."

More than 2,000 fans were at The Shay to see the win.

"The fans are great," said Wild. "I had a word with the drummer before the game who told me the drum had broke, so I said 'get me the bill and I'll pay it for you'.

"Things like that are massive, and we've got to keep that and encourage fans to keep coming down, keep being patient with us, and hopefully the players can keep producing on the pitch for them.

"It won't be pretty all the time but we'll try our best to play as much football as we can."

Wild said he didn't know if captain Matty Brown would be fit for Tuesday night's trip to Chesterfield after he limped off against Solihull.

"It's a tweak of the hamstring," he said. "We're hoping it's not as bad as we first thought, but we need to assess him.

"He didn't have full power in the hamstring so the decision was made that he had to come off."

On injury victims Dayle Southwell and Niall Maher, Wild said: "Dayle's had two weeks of training now. He joined in a little bit with the group this week, which is pleasing.

"Probably another couple of weeks before he's available for selection.

"Niall's at stage two of his rehab already. He's working hard. He's probably about five or six weeks away."

Winger Sanmi Odelusi left Halifax this week, having joined the club last summer.

"I had a conversation with Sam last week and he's a 26-year-old lad, and I don't think he's going to get the chances he wants here," Wild said on his departure.

"He needs to play football, so we had a sit down and I said 'I don't think you're going to get the opportunities here, I think you should pursue other things'.

"It was very amicable, I wished him all the best. He's a nice lad, a good pro to have around the group.

"But sometimes you have to make decisions where players can move on. I don't want players around here that could be doing better elsewhere."

When asked whether Odelusi's departure meant there would be any new faces, Wild said: "There might be, I'm still working on that. It's not as clear cut as I first thought."