FC Halifax Town: "We can't come off the gas now," says Wild ahead of Shaymen's visit to Southend

Town boss Pete Wild has urged his players not to come off the gas with a top three finish in sight.

By Tom Scargill
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 9:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 10:00 am
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

The Shaymen drew 1-1 at Altrincham on Friday before a crucial 2-0 win over promotion rivals Chesterfield on Easter Monday.

There is now a five-point gap to fourth place, putting Halifax within reach of a top three finish, which would guarantee them home advantage in a one-off play-off semi-final.

Halifax put in much improved performance in Monday's win against Chesterfield, and Wild says that is the benchmark for his side to meet for the rest of the season.

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"It is, but everything ebbs and flows," he said

"Chesterfield came and played us, we've had so many teams in recent weeks that have just come and sat in, just tried to nick us on the counter-attack.

"That was a proper game on Monday because they came and tried to play.

"We can't get away from that now, that everybody shuts up shop against us and limits our chances and tries to nullify what we're good at.

"But on Monday, you had a team that wasn't going to just sit in against us, they were going to come and try to play against us, and I think that's what made the game so good."

And Wild reckons it will be the same at Southend on Saturday.

"I know the lads well down there, they're a great set of lads," he said.

"They want to play football, I can't imagine they're just going to set up to try and stop us.

"I think they'll try and play, and if they do, hopefully it's another decent footy match."

Southend are 13th in the National League with no prospect of being promoted or relegated, but Wild says that won't mean they will take the visit of Halifax lightly.

"I know Kev (Maher) and Darren (Currie) won't let them do that, so I think we're going to get a proper game of football, and I can't wait," Wild said.

"But we can't come off the gas now. I've said to the players, we may have a little bit of a cushion now, but that doesn't mean anything.

"We've got to keep going now and we've got to get over the line as quickly as possible."

When asked about the danger of any complacency creeping in among his squad, Wild said: "There's always a danger, we're all human beings and we always take our foot off the gas in any industry, but hopefully the messaging's right from the staff, the professionalism's right from the players, and we'll be right.

"We've been right all year for 39 games so let's hope we can see these last five out."

Wild added: "I just get up the next day and start planning for the next game, that's all I'll do.

"That's what's done me well all year.

"Everyone thinks I'm boring but I'm happy with that, I'll take that."

With loanee Aaron Martin having been recalled by parent club Harrogate, Wild said he will consider recalling Matty Stenson from his loan at Kidderminster.

"We'll have a look at numbers, we'll have a look at where we are, and then we'll decide if that's appropriate," he said.

"Stenson's not done 28 days, I think 28 days is up on Thursday, so there's nothing we can do until Thursday.

"But we'll have a think about it and we'll do what's right for the club."

On whether winger Jamie Allen could return from his hamstring injury before the end of the season, Wild said: "His rehab's going well and he's doing well, so I'd never say never, but we'll see."

And Wild confirmed that midfielders Jamie Cooke and Sam McLintock are both now back at The Shay after loan spells.

"They're both back with us because they unfortunately both got injured," he said.

"So they'll boost numbers and get themselves ready for what is a really important pre-season for them both."