FC Halifax Town: “It’s tough getting there, but even tougher to stay there” - boss Wild on table-topping Town

Football - FC Halifax Town v AFC Fylde at The MBI Shay Stadium. Halifax manager Pete Wild.
Football - FC Halifax Town v AFC Fylde at The MBI Shay Stadium. Halifax manager Pete Wild.

FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild wants the supporters to enjoy being top of the National League, but not his players.

The Shaymen go into Saturday’s home clash with Yeovil top of the pile after Tuesday night’s 3-2 win at Chesterfield, thanks to goals from Jamie Allen, Nathan Clarke and Cameron King.

That was Halifax’s seventh win in nine games, with Wild’s men claiming 22 points from a possible 27.

“I hate it, I really hate it,” Wild said of being in pole position, “because you’re there to be shot at now.

“Now people want to have a pop at you, so it’s not pressure, but it’s now ‘can you withstand being there?’

“It’s tough getting there but it’s even tougher to stay there, and we’ve got to make sure we stay there now. Or we stay in and around it.

“There’s only nine games gone so let’s not worry about league tables yet.”

When asked if he thought being top will make any difference to his players, Wild said: “I’ve told them not to look at league tables, so psychologically it should mean nothing.

“Looking at league tables creates anxiety, so they shouldn’t be bothered about that.

“They should just be bothered about what’s going off in our dressing room, and working as hard as they can every week to get over the line.”

But Wild has no problem with the Town fans’ jubilation at the form of their team.

“They pay their hard earned money, and if they pay their hard earned money they deserve to go home happy.

“So I’m really pleased about that, I’m really pleased that nearly 500 fans made the trip, I’m really pleased that we’re breaking the 2,000 mark at home.

“Things like that really please me because it shows that we’re getting a buy-in, and what we’ve got to do is back it up in the pitch every week now, because we’ve got the support.”

When asked whether his side can maintain their remarkable form, Wild said: “Only time will tell won’t it. Let’s just keep doing what we’re doing, keep working hard and pray some people get fit quickly.”

The Town boss was not getting too carried away though by their lofty position.

“Cautious optimism. We haven’t won anything yet, there’s no trophies handed out first week of September, so we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing, and keep working hard,” he said.

Wild confirmed captain Matty Brown is expected to be out for the whole of September with a hamstring injury sustained in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Solihull.

“Best case scenario is three weeks, worst case four, so basically we’re looking (he’ll be out) this month,” Wild said.

“Niall Maher still has five, six weeks still to go but he’s progressing really well and doing really well with his rehab.

“We have a behind-closed-doors game at Salford next Tuesday which Dayle Southwell will take some part in, which is really pleasing.

“Most of the squad will be involved, it’s just a run-out, but there’ll be people like Jacob Hanson, Josh Macdonald, Danny Williams who need minutes.”

On Brown’s absence, Wild said: “It’s an opportunity for another player who’s been sat on the bench, chomping at the bit, to come in.

“I want to create an environment here where I give them all a chance, and that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment.

“If you wait patiently, you’ll get your chance, then go and show me what a good player you are.”

Wild was unsure whether he would bring someone else into the squad, with only 16 players available at Chesterfield on Tuesday night.

“We’ll have to have a think about it. We may do, we may not,” he said.

“But it’s got to be the right character. One wrong move her could kill everything, so I’d rather be over cautious in the situation than just go trigger-happy and because the chairman’s given me a little but of budget to go and get somebody, I just go and get the first person I see.

“I’ve always been waiting for the transfer window to shut, because then you know who’s left and who’s available.

“What clubs in the league will start doing now is maybe offering a player for a little bit less, or we might just get that player that we need.

“I’ve always been waiting for September 2 when everything chills out and then I can reassess who’s about.

“The chairman’s said I can use some if I need it, but again, the fans have got to be patient with me, and I’ve got to get the right person.

“We can all go and make a silly move, I won’t be doing that.”