FC Halifax Town: "They're both massively important" - Wild focusing on maintaining two-points-a-game ratio over Easter double-header

Town boss Pete Wild reckons his two-points-a-game target would be enough to seal a top three finish in the National League.

By Tom Scargill
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 4:18 pm
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

Halifax kick-off a crucial Easter double-header on Friday at Altrincham, before their televised home clash with promotion rivals Chesterfield on Monday (5.20pm).

If The Shaymen were to complete the season on a two-points-a-game ratio, that would take them to 88 points, for which they would need 15 points from their remaining seven matches.

Halifax are nine points behind leaders Stockport who they play on the final day of the season, but have played a game more.

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Whoever finishes second or third would have home advantage in a one-off play-off match, with a place in the play-off final at stake, whereas a finish from fourth to seventh would mean Town having to play a one-off play-off eliminator before being the away side in the one-off semi-final.

"If we stick to two-points-a-game we'll certainly be in the top three," said Wild.

"But let's just keep going, we're a point behind the run rate at the moment, and hopefully across the weekend we can address that and get back to the two-points-a-game rate that we want to be at."

On Town's upcoming Easter double-header, Wild said: "We're just taking it one game at a time, let's not get carried away.

"All our efforts are based on Friday, and trying to get the right result on Friday, and if we do that, we then progress onto Monday."

When asked if that was easier said than done considering Monday's clash is against a play-off rival and live on BT Sport, Wild said: "I don't think it is, I think we've been very good at compartmentalising as a group this year, taking it one game at a time, and I think it's important we do that because if you take them both together, you could end up with egg on your face because you've not concentrated solely on one at a time."

And Wild doesn't believe one game is more important than the other.

"No, they're both massively important at this stage, with seven to go, they're both as important as each other in my eyes," he said.

After taking seven points from a possible last nine, Wild wants his side to maintain their form.

"It's just keep going, and don't (focus on) the big things that you can't control, just keep going, keep chalking up the points, keep chalking up the results, and just keep going," he said.

"There's no fixed outcome with seven games to go that we're trying to achieve, it's just to keep going, that's my message."

Wild added: "I think you've seen different sides to us across the last three games at home.

"You've seen a good footballing display against Wealdstone, you've seen a tactical display against Solihull and you've seen a backs-against-the-wall, defend your own box against Woking, so I think you've seen all three sides of us in the last seven days.

"I expect Altrincham to be a really good football match, they're a team that has similarities to ourselves in terms of how they play and how they do things.

"I'm expecting a really good footy match on Friday.

"I think when it's a football match, we're at our best."

The Town boss says the race for promotion will look a little clearer after the next two games.

"I think we'll start to know because of the nature of who's playing who, but there'll still be five games after that, and still 15 points to play for come Monday night," he said.

"I think this weekend will tell us a little bit, but I don't really care about anybody else, all I care about is getting a positive result on Friday that rolls us into Monday."

Wild said training has gone well so far this week.

"There were a lot of tired, sore bodies after the weekend, especially after Saturday's game, so we had them ticking over on Monday and they went and did a little bit of a team building afternoon which was great to see, off their own backs.

"And then they came in on Tuesday buzzing and the tempo in training was fantastic," he said.

"We did some tactical work based on what we thought we needed to do better from the weekend, or the last week's games, and what we expect to face on Friday."

Defender Javid Swaby-Neavin was given a rare start in Town's 2-1 win over Woking, and Wild was happy with his performance.

"One thing we do at this football club is we have the next man up mentality, we don't like square pegs in round holes," he said.

"So I just wanted the right balance, we'd been getting good reports from Hyde so I didn't see any reason why we wouldn't utilise one of our squad members who'd played that position to full advantage.

"I thought he gave a good, steady performance, he played his way into the game, he was composed in what he had to do and it should give him lots of confidence that he can play at this level.

"I'm pleased for him to go and get that 90 minutes under his belt."