FC Halifax Town: Wild hoping his search for a striker is finally nearing an end

FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild is hopeful of adding a striker to his squad by the weekend, but says he will not be rushed into making the wrong move.

By Tom Scargill
Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 12:49 pm
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

Town will be without forward Matty Stenson for the season, leaving them with one fewer out-and-out striker.

Front man Gold Omotayo left the club after failing to find the net in five appearances.

Jake Hyde, Jamie Allen and Gevaro Nepomuceno are currently Wild’s options up-front.

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“We wanted to get a striker in, since before the Wealdstone game I’ve been working on a couple of strikers,” Wild said.

“The striker I wanted, the club then got Covid so that stopped that and then the league wouldn’t let him out because the whole club had Covid.

“So that put paid to that, but I’m hopeful of adding towards the weekend.

“But one thing I won’t do and I refuse to do is just jump at the first striker.

“They have to be right, they have to fit what we’re trying to do, they have to have the right attitude to come into this group.

“Strikers aren’t ten a penny either, so you’ve got to get the right character.

“I just need to be patient. Fans might say ‘just get somebody in’, well, there’s a process and I’m following the process.”

Wild added: “One striker, we’d done a deal with the club, we’d sorted out money on both sides and then the forward decides he doesn’t want to come up north.

“So you’ve got that to deal with as well. It isn’t just as easy as ‘next one in, next one in’, it’s got to be right and the three dots have got to line up in terms of us, them and the player.”

When asked if he thought an addition would be made before Saturday’s clash with Torquay, Wild said: “Fingers crossed, but I won’t just jump at it, I’ll make sure it’s right before I do.”

Allen netted his first goal of the season in the 1-1 draw against Notts County on Tuesday.

“I love Jamie, he’s a bums-off-seat man,” Wild said.

“We’ve been talking to him about going for the jugular, going for goal more and he’s done that.

“I’m really proud of him because I think Hyde and Allen will form a great partnership this season.

“If we can support them, that’s not to say Gevaro won’t play because he will, but if we can support them and make sure they don’t carry the burden on their own, I think we’ll be fine.”

Midfielder Reuben Noble-Lazarus is yet to make his competitive debut for Town, who now have another option in that area with the signing of former Huddersfield and Birmingham man Neil Danns on a short-term contract.

“He needs to try and push his way back to fitness,” Wild said on Noble-Lazarus.

“He’ll get there but I’ve got to make decisions, it’s a squad.

“Look at Neil Danns, he’s got loads of quality, ex-Premier League player and I think he’ll really add to the group.

“He’s had Covid. He came in on Monday and trained. If I’d needed him he’d have gone on but he’s not quite there after shaking the Covid off.

“But what I love about him is, he’s 37, a seasoned professional, but 20 minutes after the game (against Notts County) he’s still running round the pitch because he knows he needs to be fitter.

“That for me shows you the character I want from my senior boys.”

Wild says the addition of Danns gives him another option for the three midfield spots.

“I see him adding more quality. Obviously with Reuben trying to get back to fitness, that means that one of my midfielders has to play in the 10, which doesn’t leave me much wriggle room if there’s an injury or I need to change it,” he said.

“Dannsy just wants to play football. He had an offer from the league but can’t go there yet because of the transfer window.

“So it was a no-brainer to bring him in for a couple of months and add quality to the group.

“I like my experienced pros because I think they set the standard.

“I see him as playing anywhere in the midfield three.

“How good he is on the ball, how lively and industrious he is, even at 37, shows me that I don’t have to rely on the lads in there, I can mix it and match it as I see fit.”

On Stenson, Wild said: “He’s seen a consultant and we’re awaiting the results of that, but it’ll be an operation.

“We’re rallying round him, we’re a team of men and we’re fully together.

“He’s been supported and looked after by all the boys, and his welfare has been kept on top of every day, and we’re taking in turns to make sure his welfare is in the right place.

“He’s one of us and he’ll remain one of us all through the season.”