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FC Halifax Town 2-0 Barrow: I’m pleased with the start, but we’re not there yet, says Fullarton

Actions from FC Halifax Town v  Barrow, at the MBI Shay Stadium. Jamie Fullarton
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Barrow, at the MBI Shay Stadium. Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton says there was an air of belief about his players during their 2-0 win over Barrow at The Shay on Tuesday night.

A goal in each half from Dayle Southwell and Matty Brown sealed Halifax’s second 2-0 win of the season after Saturday’s opening-day victory at Braintree.

Fullarton is pleased with Town’s start to the campaign, but insists his side have a long way to go yet.

“I’m pleased,” he said. “We’re looking at repeating behaviours in certain aspects we do to try and give us that consistency and continuity of results.

“Two games, two clean sheets, four goals - you’ve got to be reasonably pleased.

“We have a plan, a vision, we see where we want to be. We’re not there yet, by any stretch of the imagination.

“Whilst it’s fantastic, because it’s a results business, and we created a number of chances, there’s many aspects we will strive to improve on as the season goes on.”

Fullarton said his side were made to work hard for the win by Barrow, but the Town boss liked the strength his side showed in defence to keep them out.

“Give credit to Barrow,” he said. “They have a way of playing that asked us different questions (to Braintree).

“What we saw from us tonight was a resilience. At times, when we were under a little bit of pressure, we managed to soak that up and then counter to create good opportunities, which I would class as really good opportunities.

“The first-half was disruptive with the injuries, and I think it took us a while to settle back down, which is natural, because you’re not replacing like-for-like.

“But once we did that, we scored the goal, and as the game went on there was an air of belief and confidence within the group, even when we were under that little bit of pressure in that second-half.”

Despite two wins from two, Fullarton says there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“It was different to Saturday, but with the same outcome, and ultimately we’re looking at outcomes,” he said.

“I’ve stressed the fact it’s about winning games, but it’s also about how you win games.

“There are certain signs and aspects of tonight’s game that resembled Saturday’s, and hopefully will continue to resemble in the coming games.

“But there are other areas where we are working hard and will continue to work hard to improve, because over those 46 games there are certain areas we need to improve on if we want to maintain the results.”

When asked what had pleased him most from the first two games, Fullarton said: “Six points, clean sheets, goalscoring opportunities. Because they are what give you the best opportunities to win games.

“We had a great crowd tonight and they were buoyant with such a result, and with the chances we created, and that’s pleasing.

“You have a slight concern as a manager if you’re not creating chances, but you want to take more of those chances because that will change the dynamics of the game and how we act or react defensively.

Fullarton kept the same side that started the win at Braintree, but said that starting 11 isn’t necessarily picking itself at the moment.

“I talk about the group because I think that’s a key factor,” he said.

“Each week, for each game, we’ll pick a team from the group that we believe can win the game.

“That will change depending on opponents, where we’re playing, their strengths and weaknesses and what we’re looking to do.

“Credit to everybody that’s been involved. It’s patience from others, because it’s the group.

“And whatever 11 we pick from that group there’s a sense from us as staff that we believe can go and win the game, and that will change from week-to-week.”

Fullarton said Josh Staunton had gone off early in the game after turning his ankle but wouldn’t know the extent of the injury for possibly another 48 hours.

The Town boss also confirmed winger Sanmi Odelusi has not been involved so far due to a muscle strain.

“You’ve got to make sure players are fully fit, and 100 per cent, to be able to perform to their level,” said Fullarton.

“The group is competitive, so therefore we’re risk averse when it comes to injuries, and make sure there are no recurrences.”

Asked how he was progressing with possibly adding to his squad, Fullarton added: “We’re working hard on it. There are certain areas we need to strengthen, we need more strength-in-depth.

“That’s evident, and I continue to work tirelessly every day on that.

“But it’s got to be right, and a number of factors influence that, whether it’s financial, character, personality as well as what they’re going to provide and add to the squad.

“I’m no different from the fans. You want your full squad on the first day of pre-season, and to kick on, but football doesn’t work that way, so we are continuously working on a daily, if not hourly, basis, to add to the squad.”