FC Halifax Town: “Our levels have got to remain the same” says Wild ahead of Aldershot game

Town manager Pete Wild says his players’ performance levels must remain the same when they visit Aldershot on Saturday.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:24 pm
FC Halifax Town v Stockport County, The Shay, Saturday, September 18, 2021. Photo: Marcus Branston. Pete Wild

Halifax have taken an impressive seven points from their previous three matches against Southend, Boreham Wood and Stockport.

But Wild is guarding against his team taking their foot off the gas against Aldershot appointed, who Mark Molesley as their new manager on Monday after sacking Danny Searle as boss earlier that day.

“What happened last week’s gone, and unless we back it up this weekend.....football changes very quickly doesn’t it,” Wild said.

“I’m the first to be leading from the front to be saying to everybody ‘we don’t get carried away, it’s just three points’. It’s a really good three points on Saturday, but our levels have got to remain the same and we’ve got to finish the month well, that’ll be my message all week to the players.

“It doesn’t matter what happened last week, that’s gone, it’s what happens this week that matters now.”

The Town boss said his players are full of confidence at the moment after their strong run of form.

“Of course, the lads have been sharp, quick, on it, at it in training, and rightly so because they’ve earned the right to be confident,” he said.

“But as I’ve always said, confidence can quickly turn into arrogance, and if it turns into arrogance, there’s where you have your problems, so we’ve got to make sure we remain confident and not arrogant.”

Aldershot’s appointment of Molesley comes with them lying 21st in the National League with just one win from their first seven games.

“Obviously they’ve changed their manager so there may be a change of direction, a change of thought-process,” Wild said.

“I know Mark well, I’m on a course with Mark at the moment, he’s a very good manager and what he did at Weymouth was phenomenal, and I think he got a raw deal at Southend.

“I’m certainly expecting a change in mentality from them. But having said that they’ve just got four out of six on the road so I think the sacking of Dan (Searle), who I know well and is a really good lad and I’m gutted for, was sad.

“All in all, I think what we’ve got on Saturday is a really interesting contest because they’ve got four out of six on the road, they’ve got a new manager, so I think it’s going to be a really difficult game for us.”

Wild says such a change by Town’s next opponents makes planning for what they will be up against more tricky.

“You’re looking at what’s Mark played at his previous clubs, what have they been playing previously, what players have they got in the building that may suit formations he might want to play,” Wild said.

“You’ve got all that to take into consideration, I’ve got the analysis lads doing all their homework of looking into that for me, and I’m concentrating on Aldershot and how they’ve done recently.

“So we’re going to try and get a breadth of opinion, but at the end of the day, it’s about what we do, so if we play the way we can play, if we’re us on the day, like we have been last week, then we give ourselves a chance.

“If we’re not us and we’re half-a-yard off it, then you get punished in this league. I’ve made that quite clear to everyone.”

And the Town boss said the change of manager could result in an instant upturn in performance from The Shots.

“In these situations, some players will give more because they want to prove (themselves) to the new manager, some players will be disappointed Dan’s gone and some will carry on as normal,” said Wild.

“You’ll have the three groups when a new manager comes in, but the crowd will be up, the players will be up, so they’ll give an extra ten per cent.

“But we’ve got to be professional enough and shrewd enough to make sure that doesn’t affect us.”

Town’s Billy Waters scored again last Saturday in the 3-0 win over Stockport - his sixth goal in seven appearances for The Shaymen so far this season.

“He’s had a really good start to the season, everything he hits seems to go in and as a centre-forward, you thrive off those moments,” Wild said.

“If you look at the goals he scores, he works ever so hard to create his own chances, but the play and the people playing into him also has a lot to do with that and our patterns of play.

“So I think everybody deserves a lot of credit for what he’s doing, because they’re finding him and making it easier for him to score his goals.

“Can he maintain that? Who knows, it’s the million dollar question.”

When asked if he would expect other clubs to begin showing an interest in Waters the longer his goalscoring streak continues, Wild said: “That is what it is, Billy’s contracted for us for this season, I’m not expecting him to go anywhere, why would he want to go anywhere when he’s found a home, a team that plays the way he likes, a club and a manager that wants him, likes him, thinks he’s a great lad.

“I think that answers its own question.”

Wild said loanee Jack Vale didn’t train on Tuesday but hoped he would join back in on Thursday after suffering with an ankle problem.

Midfielder Martin Woods was ill on Thursday and Friday last week but has been back in training this week.

Luke Summerfield has resumed training with a view to being available next weekend, and defender Jesse Debrah is rated at 50-50 for Saturday after a knee problem.

On longer-term injury victim Jay Benn, Wild said: “Jay’s had his consultation and we’re just waiting to hear back and we can give everybody an update by the end of the week on what the plan is for him.”

And on forward Matty Stenson, Wild said: “Anything that’s unopposed, Matt’s joining in the football side of it, but it’s important that knee’s robust enough when he comes back so he doesn’t have any more setbacks.

“He’s mixing his time with the group and physio to make sure he’s robust enough to come back and play.”

Follow all the action from Aldershot v Halifax on Saturday on our live blog on the Courier website, where there will also be an on-the-whistle match report and post-match reaction from Town boss Wild.