FC Halifax Town: "The next game is the most important, and that's no different for Southend on Saturday," says Summerfield

The next game is the most important - it's a mantra FC Halifax Town have carried throughout the season and they're not about to change it now.

By Tom Scargill
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 9:01 am

The Shaymen moved closer to the National League play-offs on Easter Monday with their 2-0 win over Chesterfield.

But while the Halifax fans may be plotting a path to the play-off final, midfielder Luke Summerfield insists the only planning taking place among the Town squad is how they can take another step towards the play-offs with a result at Southend on Saturday.

"I think we've been so solid as a group, we've got such a great changing room," he said.

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Luke Summerfield. Photo: Marcus Branston

"We've never been too down on any losses, obviously we've not had a lot of them all year, but when we have lost we've recovered well and got on with, learned from each game, and that'll be no different now.

"We'll learn from what we did well and we'll take that to Southend.

"I think the main thing is we don't get too high or too low on wins or defeats or winning runs or whatever.

"The next game is the most important, and that's no different for Southend on Saturday."

Assessing the state of play in the promotion race, with Town five points above fourth place with five games to go, Summerfield said: "I think from the get go, back in pre-season, and throughout the season our aim has been to get promoted, and that doesn't change whether we're top of the table or five points clear of fourth.

"We need to take every game as it comes.

"It's obviously nice to come off the pitch with a win against one of the teams in the play-offs, it's a big boost, good to get a clean sheet.

"But we can't really look any further than Southend. That's what we've done all year and it's stood us in good stead.

"I think we've built such a great group and camaraderie in the squad and in the club, that's what we've done all year, look no further than the next game.

"We know how massive the game on Monday was for us, how well we played, the three points and the clean sheet was huge.

"But we can't look further than Southend because the season's not finished, we've got to keep playing, keep rolling the games out, keep performing well, and who knows where it will take us."

Is Summerfield surprised at Town's lofty position in the table at this stage of the season?

"Definitely not, I think we've worked so hard throughout the season, and at the end of the day, the table doesn't lie," he said.

"We know we're capable of winning every game in this league, we've got enough good quality, not just on the pitch but in the stands and on the bench.

"This squad's got so much quality that we could win any game if we played to our full potential, we could beat anybody in this league.

"But things like that don't happen in football, injuries happen, form happens.

"But I think we showed on Monday, especially in the first-half, how good we can be."

Summerfield, 34, is yet to be promoted in his career, which is now in its 18th season as a professional.

"It's obviously something I'm working towards," he said.

"A lot of boys in the changing room have had promotions, a lot haven't.

"In football, it's not always about the ups, there's a fair few downs as well, but we're a really solid, great group, and hopefully we're building success for the latter part of the season."

Summerfield says the belief is strong among his team-mates that The Shaymen can go all the way in the promotion race.

"We've had that from when the season started. We know when we've played really well in games that we can do that all the time," he said.

"But that's football that it doesn't happen.

"But we know as a team and a squad that we have the belief we're going places and results like Monday are going to help us."

Summerfield was one of three changes for Monday's win against Chesterfield, and produced his characteristic range of intelligent passing and vision to the midfield.

"I think it's been fits and starts for the past month or so," he said of Town's recent form, "but I think it was always going to be a big game, on the telly, different kick-off, against Chesterfield, in-front of a big crowd.

"It was always going to be talked about as a big game, and I think we held our heads high in it.

"There were chances for both sides where it could have gone either way, but I think the second goal was massive for us, I think that killed the game for us at a time when they were on top.

"Even first-half I thought we played really well without scoring, but we knew if we carried on, that we'd get the three points."

When asked if he was happy with how his season had gone, Summerfield said: "Yes and no, I think it's probably been a frustrating one on a personal level with the injuries and things I've gone through this year.

"I was playing through injuries at the start of the season, and I got the most frustrating injury of my career this season.

"But hopefully at the end of the day I'm not looking back on this season on an individual basis, but as part of a great team and squad that's had success."