FC Halifax Town: "The job's not done yet," says Shaymen defender Senior on race for promotion

It's typical of this Town squad that Jack Senior doesn't dwell on Halifax guaranteeing a top four finish, and instead focuses on the bigger prize.

By Tom Scargill
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 9:36 am

In most other seasons in recent history, securing a top four finish in the fifth tier would probably have been seen as the absolute limit of Halifax's ambitions.

But this season, and this squad, won't be satisfied until they have exhausted every last breath in reaching as high as they can go.

"It's massive but there's still two games left, so you don't know what can happen," said Senior, but it's an answer that could have come from any member of the Town squad, such is the collective focus on achieving whatever is possible.

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Jack Senior. Photo: Marcus Branston

"All season we've been one game at a time, two games have come round quickly over the weekend and we're just delighted that we've got six points.

"It's been two good performances. At times in both games we've had to dig deep and we showed both sides of our game on Monday.

"We played some good stuff, and we did on Saturday, but towards the end they've given it a right good go but we dug deep and showed why we've got one of the best defensive records in the league.

"Me and the whole back four all take pride in that just like the lads up the top of the pitch take pride in scoring goals.

"It's nice to be sitting where we are but the job's not done yet and we're just going to see where these next two games take us."

Senior says there are a lot of ingredients that have put The Shaymen where they are in the table.

"The first thing I think of is a good dressing room, and it's a great dressing room to be involved in, it's a pleasure to come to work every day," he said.

"We've got the camaraderie between us, we have a great time, but when it's time to work, we work, and I think you can see that more often than not in most matches.

"We've got a resolute defence, we've got the desire - you can't answer it in one question, but we've just got little bits of everything that are getting us where we are.

"But if you want to be critical, there are things for us to work on, and we're constantly working.

"Once a game's finished, we reflect on it and on what can be better in the next game.

"It's just that resilience, on and off the pitch, to want to do well.

"I just love coming in every single day, we're all tight knit, there's no bad eggs, there's no-one upsetting the apple cart.

"Everyone's on board with what we want to achieve. We come in and we have a laugh between us, but as soon as we get out on the pitch it's hard work.

"Once training's done we might have a little bit more of a laugh.

"But it's the perfect combination of knowing what the goal is and enjoying the process while we're at it."

Senior, Halifax born and bred, used to watch Neil Aspin's Town at The Shay as a kid.

"When I actually sit and think about it I don't get too carried away with it, but feelings after Monday, when we've taken six points in three days, for a local lad, its just means that much more," he said.

"You see the fans that are coming down, after the quick turnaround from Saturday, I'm loving every minute of it, and long may it continue.

"Just being a local lad, it's just that little bit more. I'm just loving it."

Town just missed out on the play-offs last season, but this campaign has seen Pete Wild's men move onto the next level and guarantee they will be in the mix for promotion.

"I think there were games last season where we might not have seen them out," Senior said.

"We were a good team last year but we just didn't have that little bit of resilience, just to see a game out.

"Whereas I back us more often than not when we go ahead.

"We all say between us that if it gets to 70 minutes and it's tight, then more often than not we'll go on and win it, so we back ourselves right to the end.

"I think this year we've just got a bit more resilience and hopefully everyone can see that."

Does Senior have any concerns over the pressure the play-offs may bring?

"No, I personally don't think so," he said.

"There was a spell this season when we were top of the league, and fans have every right to dream, they have every right to dream now and we want to keep them dreaming.

"We've always thought one game at a time, that's always been what we say, and then we see where we are from that.

"It's going well at the minute, we're putting in good performances, which might not have been there of late, but we're getting results, and at this time of year, the results are the main thing.

"I don't think there's a pressure really, the lads are all enjoying their football, we just love grafting for each other, getting the result and then going again."

The race for the top three could be decided this Saturday if Town beat Aldershot and Solihull, currently fourth, fail to win against Dagenham and Redbridge.

"Obviously it's a better scenario to be in (the top three), but we don't want to be panicking over it because I back us most places we go in this league," said Senior.

"If you finish second or third, you're one game away from a play-off final, so we're in that position at the moment and it just comes back to one game at a time, and if we finish there, then we give ourselves a better chance than fourth to seventh.

"But if that happens then we'll give it our best shot.

"But the main thing is that now we're in this position, just keeping the standards.

"I come back to that resilience, the resilience to see games out.

"We're constantly on teams, constantly in their faces, we're a fit team, we work very hard for each other.

"I just back us more often than not. Sometimes we've had cagey games and we've ground out results.

"We'll see what happens but the main thing is we're not getting carried away.

"As soon as the Eastleigh game was finished, it was 'right, two more', and we go from there. Even in the dressing room straight after the game.

"There's no looking elsewhere, we're focused purely on our dressing room.

"If it's good enough, it's good enough, that's all we can do."

Senior, typically of this Town squad, isn't satisfied with the top four, and still has one eye on an unlikely title win for Town.

"Obviously we've confirmed a play-off place, which is a good achievement for the club and one that the lads are very happy with," he said.

"That's the first achievement, but you could say the next achievement would be second or third, because we're able to do it.

"We could still win the league, which shows what a good place we're in.

"There's two games to go, and it might happen or it might not, but the fact that it's a possibility for us is a really good achievement.

"We're not focusing on that, we're focusing on Aldershot on Saturday, which will be a tough game.

"They've had some good results recently and they're going to give us a good game.

"They haven't got much to play for and sometimes that can be a bit dangerous, sometimes they're the games where you've got to be even more on it.

"But it's the last home league game of the season and we just want to put on a good show and get another three points."

And Senior is hoping he is back in the team for good now after a disrupted second-half of the season.

"Hopefully, all being well," he said. "The second half of the season's been a bit stop-start compared to the first-half - getting ill at the turn of the year, and then a suspension and then a little injury.

"So it's been a little stop-start, but I've had two 90 minutes in three days and I feel good.

"I'm just glad to be back in, playing my part, seeing all the fans at Eastleigh and making them happy."