FC Halifax Town: "Nobody can tell me I'm taking it lightly!" says Wild ahead of visit from rock-bottom Dover

Town manager Pete Wild says his side will not be taking rock-bottom Dover lightly at The Shay on Saturday.
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Dover have won just once all season, are 35 points from safety, not helped by their points deduction, and visit The Shay on the back of a 6-0 defeat at Barnet last Saturday, their 13th loss in their last 15 matches.

But Wild says they will be treated the same as any other side they have faced this season.

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"We'll pay the game the respect it needs, they won't be taken lightly," he said.

Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus BranstonPete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

"It's funny because when we should have played them last time I watched their three games up until then, and I'm now watching their three games since, so I've watched their last six games.

"So nobody can tell me I'm taking it lightly!

"We know what we need to do, we need to get hold of the football, we need to play with a speed and a tempo that helps is create chances, and make sure we don't offer them the opportunity to score.

"When we played them down there I thought they played well, and the games I've seen of them they certainly haven't given up.

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"They've had a bump in the road at Barnet on Saturday but my overall feeling is that they're still working as hard as they can for their manager."

The Town boss insisted his team will not be turning up on Saturday expecting a comfortable win.

"We haven't got that mentality, we treat everybody with the respect they deserve," he said.

"We take it one game at a time and we'll be out there trying to do our best, to play as well as we can, to try and win the football match.

"We won't have that mentality, I can promise people that."

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And Wild wants the Town fans to do their bit in pushing The Shaymen to victory on Saturday.

"My message to the fans is that they just need to get behind the players," he said.

"I think the ground's been quite quiet in the last couple of games, to the point that Milly (Chris Millington, assistant manager) and Jacko (Alan Jackson, kit manager) at half-time in the Barnet game went over to them (the fans) and said 'come on, bang that drum more'.

"My message to the fans is to make the atmosphere as good as possible for the players, to keep us driving on.

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"The worst thing that can happen is it be quiet or there be a nervous atmosphere.

"What the boys need now is a positive, driven atmosphere to help us get over the line every week."

Wild added: "If we only win the game 1-0, I couldn't care less what the score is, as long as we win.

"I think you've seen that in Dover's recent results, only losing 1-0 in the 85th minute to Stockport for example.

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"So they're going to make it really difficult for us to score, and rightly so.

"So if we're lucky enough to score one, then that's fine with me."

On the condition of the Shay pitch, Wild said: "Jacko went down there the other day and said it was looking better and it looks good for having had a rest.

"But we can't keep peddling this pitch line, we've just got to get on with it.

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"We've got three games on it in the next eight days so you've just got to get on with it and make sure we come out of it with the right results."

The visit of Dover on Saturday is the first of three home games in eight days for Town, who then host Bromley on Tuesday and Torquay in just over a week.

"They're as important as any game in the run-in," Wild said on the significance of the next three matches.

"What we have to do is take them each on their own merit, each one at a time and see if we can keep our excellent home form going."

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Town come into the match on the back of consecutive victories, the latter being last Saturday's 2-0 win at Weymouth.

"I thought it was a professional performance on Saturday, they did a good job down there," he said.

"It's now about keeping on backing the results up, backing the points up.

"We're fully focused on trying to get the right result to back up what's been a good couple of weeks for us."

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It is unclear whether striker Aaron Martin will be available for selection having missed the win at Weymouth due to illness.

"He's still having a few tests, he's not been feeling great, so we'll see how he is nearer the weekend," Wild said.

On midfielder Kieran Green's recovery from injury, Wild said: "He's been joining in some passing sessions over the last couple of days, trying to get his touch back.

"The training ground's been a bit bobbly and uneven so it's a good test for the ankle.

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"He seems to be coming through them so we'll build it up across the week and see how he reacts."

When asked about a possible return date for Green, the Town boss said: "We'd like to think that at the start of next week he would be joining in the majority of the football sessions, the full contact sessions.

"So if he's on course for that then we'll know more."