FC Halifax Town: “We’re making sure we’re as fit as we need to be” says Wild

Town manager Pete Wild says the club is making sure his squad is as fit as they need to be after another of their warm-up games was called off.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 11:38 am
Pete Wild. Guiseley AFC v FC Halifax Town. Pre season friendly. Nethermoor Park. 3rd August 2021. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Halifax were due to play a Sheffield United XI today (Friday), but the game was cancelled.

The Shaymen also had to cancel their scheduled friendly at Fylde last Saturday after a Town player tested positive for coronavirus.

Explaining why the game against Sheffield United, who were due to field an under 23s team, was called off, Wild said: “They’ve got too many Covid cases, their 23’s have been playing in the first-team, and they then can’t drop back down to the 23’s bubble because they’re in the first-team bubble, so that’s the end of that one.

“All our best-laid plans this pre-season seem to be conspiring against us, which is difficult, but again, it’s not ideal but there’s nothing we can do about it so we’ve just got to keep progressing on.

“We’ve trained instead today and we’ve got an in-house game tomorrow (Saturday) now, we’ve pulled together an in-house game, so we’ll be training tomorrow morning.

“Then there’ll be a game next Tuesday that will hopefully go ahead as our last friendly.”

Wild is pragmatic about the disruption caused to pre-season, and says the positive case in his squad hasn’t spread to other players.

“We’re all fine, we’ve trained well all week, we just can’t get a gig,” he said.

“There’s two ways you can look at it, you can get dead stressed about it and it ruins what you’re trying to do with the players on the training ground because they see you’re frustrated and stressed, or you can roll with the punches.

“You look at every club, I was watching all the interviews with all the managers last weekend, and they’re all saying the same thing, they’ve all had Covid cases, there’s games off left, right and centre because of Covid.

“So we’re all in the same boat, and you’ve just got to keep going, make sure your work on the training ground is quality and it’s based around what you want to be.

“We’ve been putting minutes into the players to replicate the minutes they’d get in the friendlies, so we’re making sure we’re as fit as we need to be, and we’ve got some top quality staff here, and they deal with things appropriately.”

When asked if his squad will be match-fit for next Saturday’s season-opener at home to Maidenhead, Wild said: “Yeah, we have no excuses not to be.

“Like I’ve said, we’ve put minutes in the players with in-house games. Alright, they’re not the same tempo or the same quality but they’re the best we can do.

“They’ve all had 90 minutes of football, and that will hopefully make us ready for next Saturday.”

Wild says the player who tested positive and others who have had to self-isolate will join back up with the rest of the squad at the start of next week.

“Everybody will be back together on Monday, so we’ll have a full week with the group, which is good,” Wild said.

“One of the reasons why we’re looking to add two or three more bodies than we normally have in our squad is because Covid ain’t going away, we are going to get self-isolations, we’re trying to get all the boys double-jabbed as much as possible to stop the close contact self-isolation.

“So we’re doing everything we can to prevent it as we go through the season.

“But we are also aware that some things are unavoidable.”

And on the expected announcements of new signings, Wild said: “We’ve taken a little bit longer than we thought, but by the end of this week I’d like to think that four will be announced, and a couple next week, and then we’re ready to rock and roll.”