FC Halifax Town: "Go out and express yourselves," says Hughes ahead of final day

Phil Hughes (right)
Phil Hughes (right)

Assistant boss Phil Hughes wants Town to play with freedom at Fylde on Saturday (12.30) in their final game of the season.

The Shaymen ended their home campaign with a terrific 2-1 win over promotion-chasing Wrexham at The Shay on Monday.

But they face another tough test at Fylde, who moved above Wrexham into fourth with an impressive 1-0 victory at Salford last time out.

"Fylde can't go up or drop out of the play-offs," said Hughes. "I don't know what their approach will be, but it's all about us.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to go out and express yourselves, and enjoy a game with no consequence to it.

"But you put your shirt on for Halifax and you want to go out there and do the business. It's no different to any other team.

"For various reasons, people will be wanting to perform to the highest level."

Fylde have only lost three of their 22 home league games this season, are the highest scorers at home in the division and in 27-goal Danny Rowe, have the league's highest scorer.

But Hughes is relishing the challenge.

"You couldn't ask for much more of a better game," he said. "It's local for us, they're in the top six, a big spending team. They need to perform and keep their momentum going.

"It's great for us to go there. We're looking forward to it.

"We didn't have a great time last year when we lost. I can remember the start of the game, I thought it was going to end up 4-4!

"The players have shown all season that when we've played the better teams in this league, for want of a better word, we've done exceptionally well.

"The teams that have been below us have sucker-punched us really.

"If you think what could have been, if we'd had a reasonable amount of wins against the teams below us. Potentially, it could be a different ball game.

"But there were reasons for that."

Striker Scott Quigley is a doubt with an ankle problem which forced him off against Wrexham on Monday, while right-back Jacob Hanson has a hamstring strain.

"Jacob will be assessed," said Hughes. "It wasn't a serious injury, so it was more of a protection thing on Monday.

"I'm sure he'll be in the frame for Saturday."

When asked about whether work is underway for assembling next season's squad with the end of this campaign only one more game away, Hughes said: "There's a lot of maybes and grey areas at this time of the season of who's doing what and who's going to be where, and availability of certain people, and what we've got to spend.

"Most people in football will be the same in that you start preparing from the start of this season, trying to identify players, who could make us better. That changes throughout the year.

"But when you get to the end of the season, you're in a position to know what you want in, and it's a matter of 'can you get them in'."