Town defender Matty Brown would regard anything other than promotion as a failure from The Shaymen this season.
Halifax are fifth in the National League North with eight games left to play after beating Gainsborough 2-1 at The Shay on Tuesday.
With The Shaymen now 14 points off leaders Fylde with a game in hand, Brown wants Town to focus on securing a play-off berth rather than retaining any ambitions of winning the league.
“It would be devastating if we didn’t make the play-offs because we want to go straight back up,” said the defender. “For a club of this size, getting promoted is the minimum. I expected us to win the league this year - that’s me being totally honest. Circumstances have dictated otherwise but we’ve got a squad capable of winning this league. It’s about consistency and we’ve hit the heights at times but we haven’t been consistent overall to win the league, whereas Fylde have shown that consistency. But failure to get into the top-five is not good enough by our standards. It’s a massive club and it deserves to be in the Football League never mind the Conference. We need to break it down into mini goals and making the play-offs is our main goal, then after that we can look at getting promoted. I think we were thinking ‘there’s 10 games left, can we go unbeaten?’ and maybe looking too far ahead.”
Town have dropped points against six of the bottom eight teams in the Conference North this season, but have often saved their best performances for clashes against the top sides in the division.
“You don’t want to be a team like that,” Brown said. “That’s where you talk about consistency. We drew at home with Boston, but Fylde beaten them. We got beat away at Alfreton, but Fylde have gone there and won. They’re the fine lines because there’s not a great difference between all the teams, it’s fine margins. It’s about capitalising and making sure you score when you;re on top. If you don’t do that you can end up losing the game, like we found on Saturday. It sounds cliched to say it but it’s about moments. If we score a couple of goals when we’re on top in games it totally changes the emphasis of the game. It takes a lot of pressure off the lads.”
Brown isn’t too concerned about Halifax’s patchy form of late, and believes it would be a big advantage if they go into the play-offs on a winning run.
“A lot of games have been cagey early doors and been 0-0 at half-time,” he added. “In the past few games we haven’t scored many goals. You can question confidence and things like that but we’re all confident. I just think things haven’t been going our way. We’ve been through a bit of a difficult patch but I’m sure we’ll come out of it and start flying again. To be honest, I’d rather be getting momentum towards the end of the season than peaking too early. We want to go into the play-offs with momentum, that’s the most important thing. If we’re in that mindset I fancy us to beat any team, even if we had to play Fylde. I still think we’ll beat them when they come here. We had the pressure of the FA Trophy last year, the Ferriby lads have won it as well and have had the platy-off pressure, so we’ve got experience in the dressing room for those sorts of occasions.”