FC Halifax Town: Staunton hoping for more of the same after Town's victory at Oldham

Farsley Celtic v Halifax Town. Josh Staunton scores the opening goal..13th July 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme
Farsley Celtic v Halifax Town. Josh Staunton scores the opening goal..13th July 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme

Defender Josh Staunton reckons Town under Pete Wild will be committed in defence and fluid in attack.

Halifax beat Wild's former club Oldham 1-0 in a friendly at Boundary Park on Tuesday night in his first game in charge.

Town produced an impressive performance on the night, and when asked if that was a glimpse of how the team will play under Wild, Staunton said: "Hopefully. I think we'll be a lot more attacking. I think the gaffer's clear that he wants us to attack more.

"He said after the game 'not enough shots'. But I think we'll be very committed, still defending well and be willing to throw our bodies on the line.

"But hopefully we'll be more fluid in attack and push on.

"A few things fell into place on Tuesday and it was definitely a step in the right direction."

Staunton likes what he has seen from the new Town boss so far since his appointment a week ago.

"The gaffer seems really open, lets us all know where we stand," Staunton said.

"Training's been fun. Obviously it's early days and he's been trying to get his message across in a short space of time.

"But we're doing our best to take it on board, and hopefully we can progress positively throughout the season.

"There's been a good balance of information, getting to know each other, how he works, how we've been playing.

"There's been a fair bit of information crammed in there but not overload. It's just getting his style of play across and hopefully transferring it onto the pitch.

"He's just laid down how he wants to do things. He wants honesty within the group and commanded respect. We respect him, he respects us."

Staunton admits pre-season has been full of upheaval, but says the Town squad have taken it all in their stride.

"The whole group has been excellent," he said. "It's been a rollercoaster period really, and all the boys have knuckled down. No-one's said anything wrong.

"When Clarkey (Nathan Clarke) was in charge we all gave him everything we had, and we've carried that forward with the new manager.

"We're just keeping our heads down, we trust him, so we'll leave it in his hands.

"I think sometimes, through these hard periods, the squad gets closer. It puts you in situations you weren't expecting.

"We don't know much about the pitch, we've just been taking information on board.

"But the group's been first-class in the sense that we've just kept our heads down, no-one's had anything to say out of line, and it's been good."

Staunton says he is really looking forward to his second season with Halifax, having made 24 appearances last term.

"Hopefully I can get a few more games under my belt this season, and push on and show the fans what I'm capable of," he said.

The former Woking defender still sees himself as a centre-back, despite playing most of his football last season as a defensive midfielder.

"I feel a lot more at home (in defence) but I trust the gaffer's opinion, and he knows he'll get 100 per cent out of me wherever he puts me on the pitch," he said.

"I'll just try my best throughout the week to be playing on a Saturday.

"I think I learned a lot in midfield. It definitely made me better at receiving the ball, and knowing what was around me."

When asked what Town could achieve this season, Staunton said: "I think it's hard to say because it's still early days. I think we're not completely where the manager would want us to be.

"I'm sure he's still got things he wants to implement with us, and hopefully we'll only get better as the season goes on."

But Staunton has no doubts the squad will be ready for Saturday's season-opener at Ebbsfleet.

"Fitness-wise, 100 per cent," he added. "The boys are fit, Jamie (Fullarton) put that into us. We did a lot of running.

"You can never be too prepared. We've just got to try and implement what the manager's getting across to us and hopefully put it on the pitch on Saturday."