FC Halifax Town: Harvey confident about Town’s chances at Wembley

Jim Harvey
Jim Harvey

Town boss Jim Harvey is confident his team can win the FA Trophy on Sunday (4.15pm) and is urging his players to seize their chance of Wembley glory.

Halifax take on already-promoted Grimsby, who beat Forest Green in last weekend’s National League play-off final, and are red-hot favourites to make it a Wembley double.

The Halifax manager watched Grimsby’s victory at Wembley last weekend but remains optimistic about Town’s chances.

He said: “There’s a cup at the end of this and they’re playing to be winners.

“I never won a league in my playing career, but I won the Leyland DAF cup.

“But there aren’t many opportunities in your career to win a cup and that’s what I want the focus to be.

“This is a cup final and we want to win. There’s nothing else in our thoughts. We’re going out to win this game.

“I’m confident. When I watched Grimsby play, although it was a good game and they’ve done extremely well, I know we’re capable of getting a result on Sunday.

“I believe that and I’ll be passing that belief onto the boys. I’ll be driving that into them.”

Harvey feels a win on Sunday would rank among his biggest accomplishments as a manager, and says the Town players deserve a Wembley victory as a reward for their efforts since he took charge at The Shay.

“As a manager I won the Conference League Cup with Morecambe but this is a bigger competition and winning it at Wembley would be up right there as one of my best achievements as a manager,” he said.

“Particularly because of where we’ve come from. It’s somebody else’s team really and they were dead and buried.

“Nobody gave them a prayer and it’s been a real struggle because we’ve been under pressure all the way trying to close the gap and fighting in the cup between all that.

“But I’ve really enjoyed it because the boys have responded. They’ve given me everything they could and bar the width of a post we’d have achieved safety.

“That would have been magnificent but to win at Wembley would just be absolutely incredible and I would have to pinch myself and think ‘did that actually happen?’

“I’m desperate for them to win this. Their efforts over the last five months have been incredible so for them to be relegated was such a kick in the teeth.

“Because of the effort they’ve put in they deserve something for it. Its payback time for them - go out and get the win for yourselves and for all the supporters.

“That’s my vision and that’s what I want to pass on to the boys over the next couple of days.”

Harvey will have a fully-fit squad to choose from after defenders Hamza Bencherif and Matty Brown came through unscathed in the behind-closed-doors friendly defeat to Derby under 21s last Friday.

“Everybody’s been fine,” Harvey added. “Ben (Nicholson, fitness coach) has really put them through the ringer.

“They had a week off and then they came and worked hard physically.

“We had a good game against Derby under 21s. We looked a bit ropey so we definitely needed that, which helped.

“I’d like to thank Derby for allowing us to use their facilities and giving us that game.

“Hamza had been suffering with tonsillitis but was able to play 90 minutes and Matty Brown played 60 minutes, so everybody came through.

“We lost 1-0 but it was very close and could have gone either way. Josh Macdonald had a great chance and should have scored but it was a really good work-out.”