FC Halifax Town: Mood in the camp is good, says defender Duckworth

Michael Duckworth
Michael Duckworth

Michael Duckworth insists the Town squad haven't been affected by Town's tumultuous pre-season.

The departure of manager Jamie Fullarton and the cancellation or rearrangement of several friendlies has badly disrupted Halifax's preparations, with their squad still needing reinforcements.

But Duckworth says the Town players have taken all the upheaval in their stride.

"There's been plenty of ups and downs this pre-season, but the lads have handled it very well," he said.

"I feel they've been a credit to themselves really in the way they've just got on with it.

"The boys have adapted very well to the new gaffer coming in within a short space of time.

"But pre-season's been good, it's been tough. All the lads came back in pretty good condition, which makes it a lot easier."

Duckworth's first impressions of new Town boss Pete Wild have been positive.

"I've heard of him before from when he was the Oldham manager," he said. "I like the way he wants to play, which suits me.

"He hasn't been in long, we're pretty much straight into it.

"We haven't the same (amount of games) as everyone else with all the ups and downs, but the boys are looking good, looking sharp.

"Hopefully we can take that into Saturday.

"The mood in the camp's good. Nobody's let things affect them, morale's high.

"We're a close bunch of lads anyway, we've always had that team spirit."

Duckworth, who is about to enter his third season at The Shay, is reserving judgement on how Town will fare this season.

"It's hard to say," he said. "I'd rather answer that question after the first few games!

"We've got some good players. We do need to strengthen in some areas.

"We've got a thin squad so if people are picking up a few knocks we will struggle.

"But we haven't had any problems so far which is good."

Both of Duckworth's previous campaigns have been disrupted by injuries, but the full-back says he is feeling good: "I've had a good pre-season.

"It's probably the first time in a while that I've really done a full pre-season.

"I'd like to score some goals, and I'd like to play 35, 40 games this year, which would be good.

"But there's competition with Jabber (Jacob Hanson) so I need to be selected first.

"He did well last year. We pushed each other on really, which is healthy competition."

Duckworth played his part in Town's excellent defensive record last season, when they kept 19 league clean sheets, and is confident they can replicate such form again.

"I don't see why not," he said. "That was our strongest thing last year, keeping clean sheets, and we've not really lost anyone from that.

"Obviously the left-back spot is up for grabs.

"But I'd like to think we can carry on from last year with the clean sheets and good defensive displays."