FC Halifax Town: New boss Wild calls for patience and optimism from Town supporters

Pete Wild
Pete Wild

Pete Wild has called for patience and optimism as he begins his tenure as FC Halifax Town manager.

Former Oldham boss Wild was appointed on Wednesday as successor to Jamie Fullarton.

Wild anticipates a frantic few days of trying to finalise his squad, while fitting in an informal training ground match on Saturday consisting of current Town players and trialists.

When asked what is highest on his to-do list, with the start of the season just over a week away, the Halifax boss said: "I think it's two-fold; it's getting the team prepared for next Saturday and making sure we get our thoughts and opinions across quite quickly.

"Obviously the elephant in the room is recruitment.

"We're working hard. I spent all day yesterday, and it'll be all day today and all weekend, driving round to meet players and agents, talk to players.

"But it's really important that we don't say 'we haven't got enough players, let's just get a load in'.

"It's really important we get players that match what we've got, match the dressing room we've got, and fit into the style of play that I want to play."

Wild is under no illusions that he need to move quickly on adding to the squad.

"I think, quickly, we need three," he said. "And then longer-term, we'll look at maybe another two or three to go on top of that.

"But we've got to be fair to the lads that have been recruited. They've obviously been recruited for a reason so we need to have a look at them and make sure we get the balance right.

"My thought-process on recruitment is 'yes we need people in quickly'. I'm fully aware of that. But within that I'm not going to sign willy-nilly.

"We've got some trialists in. I had them all in yesterday.

"I'm going to make quick decisions on them. We've got a training game tomorrow, and we'll maybe play some of them against Oldham on Tuesday.

"We'll make sure we make quick decisions on them, and any others we look to bring in,

"Obviously every agent's now got the best footballer in the country and they want to bring them to Halifax Town.

"I've got to sift through them and make sure I find the right player."

Wild says he is happy with the budget he is working with.

"I think it's competitive for this level," he said. "It's workable, and very comparable to a lot of teams in this league. So no complaints from me."

Wild says he will be bringing someone in who is currently in employment as his assistant manager in time for the Ebbsfleet game next Saturday.

The Town boss also said goalkeeping coach Joe Stead will stay on in his role, and that Steve Nichol will link the academy to the first-team, and they are due to discuss how that will work today.

"Like we did at Oldham, we worked with the senior pros and leaned on them as well, whether it be coaching, offering an opinion.

"We feel that senior pros have a big part to play in that and we'll be utilising them as much as possible."

Town defender Nathan Clarke took temporary-charge of the first-team following Fullarton's departure and was interviewed for the manager's job.

"Me and Nathan have had a good sit down," said Wild. "As I say, I like to use the senior pros as much as possible.

"They're the voice on the pitch and they help us. You've got Matty Brown as well, so they're the sort of people I need around us, working together and it not just being us and them.

"Working together to make sure we drive forward. Nathan's been excellent, he's the consummate professional, he does everything right, and I'm sure he'll give everything for the team along with everybody else."

Wild says he has watched Halifax games from last season since getting the job, and was at Darlington last Saturday to see The Shaymen's 2-1 victory.

"I'm learning quickly about the squad," he said. "I do my homework, I get them on the training ground.

"I think you can watch clips and videos all you want, but we're in the here and now. What happened last season was last season. There was a way of playing.

"I now need to see what players suit the way I want to play, and make sure they're ready for that."

Halifax have experienced a turbulent pre-season which has seen the departure of Fullarton and the cancellation or rearrangement of four of their original warm-up games.

They also have an incomplete squad and travel to Ebbsfleet to kick-off their National League campaign in eight days' time.

"You've got to deal with the cards you're dealt," Wild said of the situation. "One big thing from that is the two times I went in at Oldham, I had a day to prepare for a game, and we won three in a week both times.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we're going to do that now, although I hope we do, I'd be over the moon!

"I'm used to just getting on with things, I'm used to environments not being nicey-nicey and the way you'd like them. I'm used to coming into difficult circumstances and difficult situations, and just getting on with it and dealing with it.

"You'll never hear me bemoan the problems, I'll just get on with what we've got, try my best and drive forward.

"I'm not one of them that will blame other things, I have no excuses. just get on with it, and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work, and we learn from it.

"If it does work, we've got to learn why it's working."

But Wild was unequivocal that The Shaymen will be ready for Ebbsfleet.

"One hundred per cent," he said. "When we walk over that white line, we'll be ready.

"I have no worries or qualms about that. We'll be ready next Saturday."

Wild said he had "absolutely no idea" about Tuesday's friendly with Oldham until he was told by Town chief David Bosomworth

"The chairman took about 10 minutes to get it out, he was going round the houses before he told me," he said.

"Listen, I had an unbelievable time at Oldham. I'm from Oldham, but in terms of that now, that ship's sailed. I don't believe in dwelling on the past.

"I've got a lot of friends still at Oldham, players and staff, and I'm looking forward to it in that sense.

"But the biggest thing we can take out of Tuesday night is that I'll be able to compare quite quickly from the players I had last year to the players that we've got this year at Halifax, and make sure they're ready.

"So I can get a real feel for who they're up against. I think it actually couldn't be a better friendly for us because I can compare and contrast quite quickly.

"So in that respect it's great, and in the other respect it's completely weird.

"Another good thing is that I'll be home in 30 seconds!"

When asked what his message to the Halifax fans was, Wild said: "I hope they'll be cautious. I understand they'll think that maybe it's an out-there appointment, a risky appointment.

"But I have belief in my own ability, I feel like I proved that in difficult circumstances last year.

"So my message really is come down, see what you think, get behind the lads.

"If we can get them playing the brand of football that we want to play, we're quite confident we can excite them, we're quite confident that we can be competitive.

"So I say come down and see for yourselves, and judge us over a period of time.

"I'm under no illusions, I know what football's like. If they don't like it, they won't come. If they do like it, they'll come again.

"So come and judge us, see what you think, and come and get behind the lads because everybody's working for the good of the football club. Nobody's here to to the detriment of the football club.

"Everybody wants the football club to do well, no-one more so than me and the staff.

"I would call for patience until we get it right, and we will get it right quickly. I call for patience, but I call for a lot of optimism as well.

"I think you're going to have a real good balance of that."

When asked what would be a successful season, Wild added: "I would like to think we'll be in the top half of the table.

"We've got to build on where we finished last year.

"First of all we need to make sure we stay in the league, but as soon as we start to get points on the board, we can start to re-evaluate where we want to be.

"I certainly want to be in the top-half of the table, and if we can get there, hopefully we'll have to re-evaluate again."

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