FC Halifax Town: "We've got nothing to lose and everything to gain" says Wild on Chesterfield clash
Town boss Pete Wild says his side have "nothing to lose and everything to gain" from their top-of-the-table showdown with Chesterfield on Tuesday.
Neither side are in action on Boxing Day after Town's home game with Grimsby was postponed due to Covid-19 cases in the Mariners' squad, so both could be overtaken by Boreham Wood and Bromley.
Wild says the game is the biggest of the season so far, but believes leaders Chesterfield go into the match under more pressure.
"It is (the biggest game of the season so far) because of where we both are in the league, but they're the home team, all the pressure's on them to keep going," Wild said.
"They've spent a lot of money to get themselves where they are. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain from the contest.
"I will be telling the players we have nothing to lose going there."
Town will be training on Boxing Day in lieu of their clash with Grimsby, which Wild had expected would get called off.
"We thought it would be, we just had to get it confirmed," he said.
"You don't know until you know really.
"It's a shame because it's the Boxing Day fixture, I'm gutted for the fans, but we have to move on and that now means both us and Chesterfield both have seven days to prepare for what should be a belter."
Town go into the Chesterfield match on the back of a penalty shoot-out win at Bradford Park Avenue in the FA Trophy, setting up a fourth round tie at ex-Halifax boss Billy Heath's Alfreton.
The Shaymen weren't at their best at Park Avenue, conceding three avoidable goals and needing a last-ditch goal to take the tie to penalties.
"It's not a kick up the backside," Wild said, "it's just a reminder that we ain't cracked anything yet."
Wild says the Chesterfield game should generate plenty of excitement among his players.
"It should do, it excites me, I can't wait now, so it should excite the players because we got into football for days like Tuesday," he said.
"We all should be buzzing for the game.
"We've just got to keep ahead of the two points a game rate, that's all that matters.
"Yes it's great (Town's league position), but nobody will be handing out trophies on December 28 so it's just another game, we keep going and we try and keep above that two points per game run rate, that's all that matters."
Wild says Chesterfield's Kabongo Tshimanga, who has 19 goals so far this season, will be their obvious threat.
"Yeah, amongst others," Wild said. "I think James has recruited very well, I think he's recruited some really good players and we'll have to be at our utmost best to get anything out of the game.
"There's added pressures being at the right end of the table, so it's another test for the group and how we deal with that."
Winger Jamie Allen is expected to be available for the match having recovered from his ankle injury.
Wild said midfielder Jamie Cooke is set to head out on loan, while loanees Elliot Newby and Jack Vale have had their deals extended to January 3 to allow them to play against Grimsby.
When asked about the chances of Newby and Vale staying at the club any longer, Wild said: "We'll see because I want to see where Stenson and McDonagh are."
Follow all the action from the game on Tuesday with our live blog, plus there will be an on-the-whistle match report and post-match reaction from Pete Wild on the Courier website.