FC Halifax Town: “I want the fans to come and drive us on” says Wild ahead of Stockport clash

Town manager Pete Wild wants the Halifax fans to drive his side on against big-spenders Stockport at The Shay on Saturday.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 2:51 pm
FC Halifax Town v Southend United, The Shay, Saturday, August 11, 2021, Photo: Marcus Branston. Pete Wild

The Shaymen are aiming to round off an impressive week in style after beating Southend at home last Saturday and battling to a 2-2 draw at Boreham Wood on Tuesday night.

“We’ve got nothing to fear, we’ve got to go and express ourselves,” said Wild.

“I’ve said to the players I want it to be exciting, I want them to go and take the game to Stockport on Saturday and leave nothing unturned, really give them a good test.

“All the pressure’s coming over the hill, there’s no pressure on our side of the hill.

“We’ve just got to try and give a good account of ourselves and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I think the fans are going to be important, obviously it’s the second of my two game ban, so I want the fans to come and drive us on.

“I thought they were unbelievable on Saturday, that’s the best I’ve heard them at home, and my rallying cry to them is ‘give me more of that on Saturday because we’re going to need you and we don’t want Stockport coming here and drowning us out’.”

Only Solihull’s Joe Sbarra and Chesterfield’s Kabongo Tshimanga have scored more goals in the National League this season than Town’s Billy Waters, who netted his fifth of the season at Boreham Wood.

“We scored off a set-piece on Saturday - I wanted us to be better off set-pieces - and we scored off a set-piece again on Tuesday,” Wild said.

“Everything Billy hits goes in at the moment, even a left-footer on Tuesday! We’re dead pleased for him.

“People will say number nine’s should be big, six-foot-four, aggressive etc, but Bill proves you can be quick and jinky, and he offers something different that maybe other teams in the league don’t have.

“I knew he’d do well and he’d fit how we played, so I thought if we could get him firing he’d do well.

“As much as our front four have been frightening in the early part of the season, the lads behind them give them a platform to play and I think that’s been really crucial.

“Unfortunately the two full-backs have been injured and the other two lads have got their chance probably quicker than I thought they would, so it’s now making sure we blood our young ones who come in.”

The average age of the Halifax back four at Boreham Wood was 22.5, while the average age of the Halifax team that finished the game was 23.9.

“We’re very tired after that,” Wild said after the Boreham Wood game, “and there’s a few knocks but hopefully nothing serious because we haven’t got any more players!

“We’re hoping they’re not too bad and they’re just knocks and bumps, but that shows you the character, the lads have thrown themselves into tackles and headers, desperate to do well for the football club.

“Tuesday night was as pleasing as the football we’ve played on Saturday against Southend.”

Wild confirmed on Tuesday night that defender Jay Benn could be out for between four to six months with a hamstring injury.

The Town boss said midfielder Luke Summerfield is another ten days away from a return to fitness after his knee injury, but said defenders Jack Senior and Jesse Debrah could be in contention for the visit of Stockport.

“Jack will train Thursday and Friday and we’ll see if it’s not too sore to play on Saturday,” Wild said.

“He’s desperate to play, again the character of the lad, he just wants to play and be around it.

“Fans should be happy that players are desperate to get out and play for this football club and Jack’s another example of that.”

On Town’s opponents on Saturday, who won 2-0 at Maidenhead in midweek and have won two, drawn two and lost two so far this season, Wild said: “I’m expecting a team that’s going to come and try to dominate the ball, a team that’s decent on set-pieces, that will have intelligent, clever players to try and out-clever us.

“But we’re a good team, and it’s another test.

“Everybody looked at this week’s fixtures and went ‘phwoar, that’s going to be a tough week’, well we’ve got four out of six so far, so let’s see what we can get on Saturday.

“I think the first ten points in a season are the hardest to get and we’ve got ten now after six games, so we can hopefully go and push on now as quickly as we can.

“A fan said to me on Saturday ‘how do you do it every year, how do you rebuild a team every year and find a different way?’

“That’s my favourite bit.

“Are we where we want to be? No, because if I said that then I’m getting complacent.

“I think we’re building and we just keep moving forward. There’s lots of stuff that can be better and will need to be better for Saturday.

“The exciting stuff now comes on analysing the game and making sure we’re ready.”

Follow coverage of Saturday’s game on our live blog on the Courier website where there will also be an on-the-whistle match report and post-match reaction from Pete Wild.