FC Halifax Town: “The more I’m on the pitch, the better I’ll get” - Hyde itching to return from injury

Jake Hyde will have some lost time to make up for when he returns to action.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 11:47 am
Halifax v Wealdstone, at The Shay, November 10, 2020. Photo: Marcus Branston. Jake Hyde

The Town striker’s first season at The Shay hasn’t exactly gone to plan so far - a niggly injury disrupted his start to the campaign before a hamstring problem stopped him in full flow after scoring four goals in his previous three games.

“It’s not obviously the start I wanted but looking back and analysing it, there was a lot of change, moving house, moving up north away from family, getting used to a new club, new system, new players, new training regime, all different things come into it,” he said.

“I think you saw that early on in the team in general. With 13 new players it’s hard to hit the ground running, especially with such a short pre-season and I don’t think we took into account the space of time we had off before that.

Sign up to our daily Halifax Courier Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It was six or seven months. You think to yourself ‘I’ll keep myself fit’ but when you’re not playing every day it’s a very different type of intensity, different type of training, and your body does get differently conditioned.

“But it was a very disappointing start, at a new club you always want to hit the ground running and I had one or two niggles in pre-season.

“Then we had the Covid break and it took a little while to get back from that.

“Once I was fit for those three or four games, I felt really good, I think you saw the system working and everyone starting to click, we were understanding each other more and, to be honest, in those games, I was going into each game knowing I was going to score.

“As a centre-forward, you get those moments when you think ‘it doesn’t matter who I’m playing against today, it doesn’t matter what we do, I know I’m scoring’.

“I just got into that groove and then it was halted, which was really disappointing.

“Nothing I can do about it now, got to try and get my head down, work hard and crack back on.”

Hyde’s debut only came five games into the campaign at former club Woking due to an injury during pre-season.

“It was a little hamstring issue but it was coming off my back,” he explained.

“I don’t know if that was the travelling up and down (the country) moving stuff, I don’t know if it was the long periods of time out and the impact onto my back, but I was getting these little niggles all off my back, so to settle them we had to adjust what we were doing.

“More so than my back actually hurting it was coming off my back where, if you’ve been sitting in a car for four or five hours and in pre-season you cover way more ground than in a normal week’s training or even in a game, so the impact after six or seven months off takes its effect.

“Once I got that sorted I felt good, felt fit and felt I was getting better with each game.”

Hyde got up and running with a goal in the 5-2 win against another former club, Barnet, and then scored again in the 5-1 win at Weymouth and netted twice in the 3-1 victory at Aldershot.

But the forward limped off in the next game, the 2-1 defeat at Solihull on December 15.

“Going into the Solihull game was probably the best I’ve felt, legs felt fresh off the back of two goals (at Aldershot), was in a bit of form,” he reflected.

“The first 10 or 15 minutes, I knew it was going to be a good day, I got the ball a few times. You get a feel for it and I felt good, felt sharp, felt like I could score at any minute.

“It was really frustrating because it came out of the blue. I remember setting the ball and putting my head down going to sprint into the box.

“You start to gather pace and you don’t think about anything else, I remember running and as I planted on the left side my foot slipped on the pitch mid-sprint and I felt it go ‘bang’ and I was like ‘for god’s sake, here we go’.

“I think from that attack, the lads actually scored, so I’m hobbling off the pitch and they’re all celebrating!

“I was gutted, but it’s one of those things I guess, and I’m working really hard to get myself on that pitch as soon as possible.”

All in all, it’s been a frustrating start to life at The Shay for the striker.

“I think I’ve had six or seven starts in the league, only come on once, including the 10 minutes at Solihull, but the first two we were coming back from the Covid outbreak and trying to get our fitness,” he said.

“So you’re looking at three or four games, so it’s been a very frustrating start, but what I have enjoyed is being around the lads, getting comfortable, learning about the football club and how they go about doing things.

“Every football club has a different way of doing things, different way of structuring training and what they want to get out of it, and when I come back this time, I’ll know the lads better, I’ll know the system really well and I’ll have the belief going forward about what we’re capable of doing because I’ve been a part of it.

“When you come to a new club it’s a bit like ‘is this going to work?’, ‘is that going to work?’, and now I’ve had those games, yeah it’s frustrating I haven’t played more, but I can’t really think about the games I’ve missed, I’ve got to think about the games I’m coming into.

“So for me, I’ll come back and it’ll be ‘right, I can’t wait to get back because I know if I do that, there’ll be goals for me, I know the boys will look for me here,’.

“You’ve already built relationships so you can move quicker through the gears.”

Hyde admits he finds being out of the side hard to deal with.

“My friends, my family and my girlfriend, as soon as I get injured, for example on that night at Solihull, no-one will text me or talk to me because they know it’s not worth the time,” he said.

“I’ll be sulking, I’ll be moody for about two days.

“I remember saying to one of the coaches, ‘listen, I’ll sulk for two days, let me have my sulk, I’ll be on my own, I’ll get over it, and then I’ll come in ready to work’, and that’s how I deal with it.

“It affects your whole life, you’re so gutted that, at the time, it’s pointless (trying to talk to him) so let me sulk, let me get through it, I’ll come in fresh and it’ll be day one of my rehab, and I’m ready to work again.

“Until I’m back on that pitch I’ll work as hard as I can because I can’t stand missing football, I can’t stand watching football.

“I’m watching the lads train every day, it does my head in, I can’t stand it, I want to be out there.

“So I’m doing everything I can to get back as quick as I can.”

Hyde is sharing a club house with fellow Town players Tom Bradbury and Matty Stenson, who is out for the season with a serious injury.

“He had a long period at home, he’s waiting for his operation, but he’s in the house,” Hyde said of fellow frontman Stenson.

“He’s in a worse situation than me so you can’t be coming home like ‘god, I’m injured, I’ve got this stupid hamstring for six weeks’ because you’re much more fortunate than he is.

“We just try to keep each other motivated and keep each other going, me more so looking out for him because he’s more long-term.

“But that helps me anyway because you look at him and think ‘god, I could only be potentially three weeks away from playing’.

“With Stenno having such a long injury, taking his mind off it is the best thing. He’s got such a long road, it’s going to be a mental battle as much as a physical battle for him.

“When we first came, we were talking about this, talking about that, ‘that’ll be good, we’ll get loads of joy there’, ‘we’ll do this, we’ll do that’, and it hasn’t worked out that way, but that’s football, injuries are part of football, and things change very quickly.

“I’m just concentrating on trying to get myself back and help the team as much as I can because I still think we’ve got a hell of a chance of the play-offs and getting promoted.

“I want to be a big part of that and help along the way.”

Hyde has been impressed with how Town have fared so far this season.
“On our day, I don’t think anyone can get near us,” he said.

“Those three or four games where we were knocking teams for five, and even at Aldershot, it took us eight minutes to step up and it was bosh, bosh, bosh, three goals, game’s done.

“I felt like we had the firepower and the way we were playing, we had the know-how on the pitch, boys that have been there and done it, the gamesmanship to slow the game down or speed it up.

“Even at our worst this season, no-one’s taken the mickey out of us, we’ve still been in the games, but at our best I don’t think anyone can live with us.

“I remember coming off the pitch against Barnet raging, we won 5-2 but I was furious because it should have been 8-0, and I was kicking things down the tunnel.

“I had to take a step back and go ‘we’ve just won that game 5-2 and you’ve scored, but you’re fuming’ but as a centre-forward, there were so many opportunities and I knew I could have had a hat-trick that day.

“But because we were winning so comfortably, we were taking our foot off the gas and keeping the ball rather than being ruthless with it, and once we’re on top I want to keep going, I want to go and win the game 8-0 or 9-0 and score three or four goals.

“So I remember coming off and being furious but afterwards in the changing room obviously that quickly disappeared and I was like ‘you’ve got to let that go, we’ve just won 5-2, enjoy it’.

“But when we are on top form, I don’t think anyone can live with us, so if we do keep it consistent, keep it injury-free, as long as we’ve got most of our more senior boys out there and ride our bad times, if we can get into the play-offs, which I’ve got no doubt we can, I feel like it doesn’t matter who we play in the play-offs, we’ll more than match them.

“I feel we’ve gone from strength-to strength.”

Hyde says he is hoping to be playing again “this month some time”.

“I’m working super hard, but the training ground has been frozen at times which makes it hard for me to get out there and I have to do more in the gym,” he said.

“I’m probably a pain Azza’s (Aaron Scholes, physio) neck, just because I’m always like ‘right, come on, let’s get out there, let’s do this, let’s do that’ and he’s probably sick of hearing me say it.

“The gaffer will say things about the team and I’ll be like ‘where do I fit into that, I’ll be fit for Saturday!

“All I want to do is concentrate on coming back and staying back.

“I hope the fans have seen enough from those three or four games to know that I work as hard as I can for the team and I’ll hopefully chip in with some goals and help the team out as much as I can.

“The more I’m on the pitch, the better I’ll get.”