FC Halifax Town: Progression, avoidable goals and lessons learned - Shaymen boss Wild reflects on Town’s 2020-21 season
Town boss Pete Wild says he is pleased at the club’s progression this season.
The Shaymen finished lower in the National League table than the previous campaign, missing out on the play-offs.
But Wild believes the club has established itself at the right end of the table after successive top ten finishes.
“I think the big thing is I wanted progression this season, I think that’s clear for everybody to see, going into a full-time programme, having to try and back-up what we did in the play-offs the year before, albeit with a lesser season the year before,” he said.
“And I think you can see clear progression, we’re fighting at the right end of the table, two top ten finishes in two seasons.
“Everybody can see now that Halifax are finally fighting back up at the right end of the table where they want to be, so I’m really pleased.
“I think we’ve played a brand of football that was better than the year before, I think you can see a clear style to how we do things now, and we’ve been adaptable within that in the fact that we can play a few different ways, and that’s because we’ve been able to bring in players who we think can make the club better, and I think we’ve done that.”
When asked what had pleased him most about the season, the Town boss said: “Just the way we’ve took it to the top teams, I think not only have we gone toe-to-toe with them physically and technically, but we’ve gone toe-to-toe with them tactically as well.
“Over the weekend there’s been some lovely messages from directors of football and managers at other clubs telling us that we were one of the best teams they’ve played against this year and we’ve got a good style about us, which is very humbling that other people are recognising that as well.
“That’s one of my pluses for the season, and the group of players we recruited, they’ve been a phenomenal group of players.
“I heard a quote once - ‘build a group that you want to coach’ - and they were a group I certainly wanted to coach this year because they were not just great footballers but a top group of men as well.”
Wild said conceding avoidable goals was a major frustration from the campaign though.
“When we were in good positions, some of the goals we gave away, and some of the silly goals we gave away frustrated us,” he said.
“The start to the season, due to injuries and not having a centre-forward, frustrated us. We were always chasing it.
“That, across the season, was probably the undoing of us, but when you have a small squad, if you get a couple of injuries, you’re always going to be wafer-thin.”
The season was only Wild’s second full campaign as a manager, and he feels he has taken lessons from it.
“That if you get your recruitment right, you’ve always got a chance,” he said. “I thought we got our recruitment right this year and it gave us a chance.
“And coaching in the game, changing things within games and coaching pitchside this year, I think we got a lot better at it, so that can only bode well for the future.”