FC Halifax Town: “We’ve got to prepare as normal” says Wild amid doubts over Saturday’s game

Town boss Pete Wild says he will prepare as normal after Saturday’s home game with Dover was thrown into doubt this week.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 9:10 am
Halifax v Dagenham and Redbridge at The Shay, October 3, 2020. Photo: Marcus Branston. Pete Wild

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter said on Tuesday that “all football operations” at the club could cease in the next couple of days unless the funding saga in the National League is resolved.

At the start of the month, National League clubs were given 28 days in which to vote on the fate of the season.

Clubs have been offered long-term loans to allow football to continue, but many have said they would rather null and void the season rather than take on debt, having been given grants in order to start the season.

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And Parmenter said he saw “no logic in burdening the club with hundreds of thousands of pounds of debt to complete a meaningless season”.

Parmenter went on to say that “unless the situation changes in the next couple of days, I will have no option but to furlough all staff, cut all possible expenditure and cease football operations”.

Even if Dover do agree to play, the weather may intervene, with sub-zero temperatures forecast for Calderdale between now and Saturday meaning the Shay pitch could be frozen.

“We’ve got to prepare as normal,” said Wild.

“It’s out of our control, there’s nothing we can do. If they decide to play, we’ll play, and if they don’t, we wont.

“We’ve got to continue to prepare as we always do, that’s our jobs.”

When asked if Town could arrange another game on Saturday, Wild said: “It depends when Dover make their minds up.

“We can only go off when they decide what they want to do.”

Town will return to action one way or another over the next few days after their postponed game at Barnet was rearranged for Tuesday next week.

Dover are second-from-bottom in the National League and have lost all their away games this season.

When asked how complacency can be avoided among his squad, Wild said: “You give them the respect that every team in this league deserves.

“I’ve stressed to the players that I think this is the biggest week of the season because the boot’s on the other foot.

“Most games we’re the underdog but in these two games we’re not.

“That’s why we have to approach them properly.

“They’ll be given the full respect they deserve, the players will be fully abreast of everything they need to know and understand about Dover.

“I know what Andy Hessenthaler’s teams are like, they’re tough to play against, you’ve got to match them physically, and if we don’t match them physically, it’s going to be a long afternoon.”

Wild is keen for his side to learn from their last game against Maidenhead.

“One of the areas we need to develop is that when we’re on top, we keep the back door shut,” he said.

“Sometimes we can get carried away because we’re having chance after chance after chance, that we just become an in-possession side.

“We need to address keeping that back door shut, that’s what we’ve been working on since our last game against Maidenhead.”

The Town boss is expecting to have the majority of possession against Dover.
“They’ll try and hit us on the break, but that’s most away teams in this league,” he said.

“People approach Halifax differently in the last 12 to 18 months, we’re no longer just plucky little Halifax, so we’re now used to teams sitting in, waiting for opportunities on the break and trying to hurt us.

“So we’re more than ready and more than capable of breaking teams down.

“We have to make sure that we’re ready for that challenge on Saturday.”

Wild hinted that striker Jake Hyde may not be thrown straight back into his side after recovering from a hamstring injury.
“Having had to chuck Jake Hyde and Jamie Allen in from the start when they first came back, in hindsight that wasn’t my best of choices, hence why I rested Jamie against Maidenhead,” he said.

“I probably won’t make the same mistake with Jake now.”