FC Halifax Town: “We all have to be pragmatic about the situation” says Wild as squad additions are put on the back burner

Town boss Pete Wild may have to shelve plans to add to his squad after The Shaymen announced they would be applying for a loan from Sport England.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:27 pm
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

Wild had hoped to bring in one or two additions, but accepts that with money tight at the club, those plans have had to be changed.

“You’ve seen we’ve taken a loan out to finish the season, so I think that tells you everything you need to know at the moment,” he said.

“We may be able to bring one in at some point, but with the constraints - fair play to the chairman for keeping the fans updated - we all have to be pragmatic about the situation and I think we’ve just got to make sure we stay free of injuries and we have a bit of luck here and there.”

Wild is anticipating a tough game at strugglers Wealdstone on Saturday, whose impressive midweek 1-0 victory at home to Boreham Wood was their first win in eight games.

“We all know the absolute farce they put us through at The Shay,” said Wild, reflecting on Town’s 1-0 home defeat in the reverse fixture in which Jeff King and Danny Williams were both sent-off.

“We want to go there and give a better account of ourselves than what happened then, and we’re desperate to do that.

“They’ll be tough, they’re a good footballing side, they have lots of pace and strength, pose lots of threats.

“We’re going to have to be at our best. I’m really looking forward to the game after watching the team on Tuesday.

“They’ll be playing with freedom because there’s no relegation now. They’ve got nothing to lose now so they’ll express themselves and it’s important we don’t let them do that.”

Wealdstone are fifth from bottom in the National League, with only Barnet conceding more goals than them in the division, but Wild isn’t reading too much into their position.

“Tables are irrelevant, they’re all over the place,” he said. “I had a look on Saturday and laughed, because they’re pointless.

“Everybody’s played completely different games so it doesn’t matter.

“Let’s just go and take them on merit and hopefully come away with another positive result, keep pushing through March and see where that takes us.”

Town’s absentee list looks like it’s got worse before it gets better, with Danny Williams missing for the next two games against Wealdstone and Notts County, and Jack Senior a doubt after picking up a knock in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Hartlepool United.

“Jack did have a knock but it coincided with us trying to get more support to Hydey and go two up top,” said Wild.

Defender Jean Belehouan, who is on loan from Sheffield United, has undergone an operation for a broken ankle.

“He stepped in with the ball, rolled his ankle and it broke. No-one anywhere near him. Yet again,” rued Wild.

“He came out of hospital on Sunday, we’re now just working with Sheffield United but he’s probably going to go back to them and do his rehab there.”

Striker Jake Hyde started his first game since mid-December on Tuesday night, and Wild was pleased with what he saw.

“I thought he did excellently well in holding the ball up for the team, he gives us a focal point to play into, the way he brings the ball down and allows other people to catch up is fantastic,” said the Town boss.

“If we get the ball in the box to him quicker, he’ll score goals.

“That’s what we’ve got to work on when we do get in the final third, we need to get the ball in the box to him.

“It was a really good productive 90 minutes from him, I thought he looked freer and sharper than he’s looked since he’s been here.”

On fellow forward Tahvon Campbell, who is yet to score since joining on loan from Cheltenham, Wild said: “Tav had to do a job off the left for us. We thought if we could get the ball into Jake, Tav and Jamie (Allen) could run off him.

“It just didn’t work for Tav unfortunately, but Tav’s all-round play since he’s been here has been excellent.

“I think he’s brought a lot to the team, he just needs to get off the mark and score a goal, and then he’ll be flying.”

Captain Nathan Clarke and midfielder Kian Spence are now back in full training.

“I’m hoping to give them one more week’s blast and then they’ll be in contention,” said Wild.

There is also positive news on midfielder Luke Summerfield.

“Luke’s halfway through his rehab,” said Wild. “We’re being very cautious.

“He has the chance to come back early but he has to hit certain milestones to get back.

“With it being a partial tear of an ACL, you’ve got to be careful. If he comes back too early and tears it completely, 12 months out.

“So we’ve got to be so careful with it. Aaron (Scholes, physio) is excellent, he’s probably reining me in. Every day I’m going ‘oh he looks like he’s running well’ but the physio’s going ‘calm down, calm down’.

“If everybody works on six weeks and he’s back before that, then fantastic.”

Wild also hopes to finally have attacking midfielder Reuben Noble-Lazarus, who is yet to make his debut, back available soon after struggling with fitness problems all season.

“Hopefully he’ll be ready for the run in,” Wild said.

“If we can get him on the pitch, the kid’s quality, we’ve just got to get him on the pitch.”

On backup keeper Harrison Davison-Hale, Wild said: “He’s had his hard cast off now so he was back doing physical exercise on Monday.

“He’s got about three or four weeks to go in terms of his rehab.

“And long-term injury victim Matty Stenson is progressing well with his recovery.

“Matt had a touch point with the consultant a couple of weeks ago, and he was about two weeks ahead, so we’re all over the moon for him,” Wild said.

“Hopefully he’ll be back before his due date, which would be fantastic for the club and especially for Matt.”

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