FC Halifax Town: Boston game doesn’t represent last chance saloon for players to impress, says boss

FC Halifax Town v Boreham Wood at The MBI Shay Stadium. Town manager Jamie Fullerton
FC Halifax Town v Boreham Wood at The MBI Shay Stadium. Town manager Jamie Fullerton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton says tomorrow’s final friendly of pre-season against Boston at The Shay (3pm) isn’t a last chance saloon for his players to impress.

Halifax host the National League North side in their sixth and final pre-season fixture a week ahead of their season-opener at Braintree.

Asked whether tomorrow’s match represented a final opportunity for his players to stake their claim for a start at Braintree, Fullarton said: “I don’t work like that, because every day you’re being judged, every day the tapestry of opinion on every individual changes.

“There’s only five per cent of the football world where they have a switch where they can turn it on, and they don’t do it during the week.

“So it’s important that the environment encourages them to be the best they can every day in what they do.

“I’m an intense person, and I’m not going to apologise for that, so every day, there’s that level where we’re working towards being the best we can.

“Saturday isn’t that last chance saloon, because that just passes on pressure.

“The job of a manager is to do the work during the week so that come Saturday, there’s less pressure.

“It’s a winning mentality you’ve got to look for. What does that look like? The score on a one-off Saturday doesn’t always give a true reflection, so that winning mentality is a belief within a group that they are tactically organised with a game plan to be able to win, they’re physically prepared to the best they can be to be able to win the game, they are technically proficient to combine with the tactical awareness as well as the physicality to go into any game against any team, to win.

“That’s what a winning mentality is, and the score doesn’t always reflect it.

“To be successful, the score has to reflect that mentality, what you do and how it manifests itself.

“That’s how we work on a daily basis and what we’re trying to do.”

Fullarton wants to see his side take another step towards next Saturday’s opening game.

“We’re getting closer to the first game of the season, so we’re looking to fine tune what we’ve been working on,” he said.

“We’re looking for progression and improvement in every area, from organisation to structure to understanding of role/responsibility.

“But it’s still pre-season, and a week is a long time in football.

“It’s another step towards the start of the season. It’s about making sure they’ve got more minutes in their legs, not picking up any injuries and making sure they’re available for selection so that come August 4, we have a team that’s competing to win the three points.

“It will be balancing off to make sure if we do pick up knocks and niggles, come August 4, they give themselves the best opportunity to be selected.”

Fullarton added that captain Matty Brown had been absent for most of pre-season so far due to injury.

“I’ve stressed it from the first week of pre-season, the most important part of pre-season is everyone being fit to a level to be available for selection.

“Matty picked up a knock and a niggle, and it was just about managing that and what he does training wise and playing wise. Nothing more, nothing less.”