FC Halifax Town: Let’s finish with a flourish, says Town boss Fullarton

Halifax Town v Solihull moors 23.3.19'Jamie Fullarton
Halifax Town v Solihull moors 23.3.19'Jamie Fullarton

Boss Jamie Fullarton wants his Town side to finish the season with a flourish - starting at home to Maidenhead on Saturday (3.0).

The Shaymen have all-but secured National League safety having reached 51 points, putting them 13 clear of the relegation zone with six games left.

Maidenhead, who beat Havant and Waterlooville 2-1 on Tuesday, also look assured of fifth tier status next season, being nine points clear of the bottom four, so there could be a sense of freedom about both sides on Saturday.

“I think that’s two defeats in 16 (league games) now,” said Fullarton, “which at this level, is a difficult feat to have such a record, which is built on the foundation of the team working as they do.

“We’re looking to keep gaining momentum and finish with a flourish until the end of the season.”

Town slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Maidenhead back in September, but Fullarton believes his side is a different beast to the team that lost that day.

“No doubt it’ll be a difficult task against Maidenhead,” Fullarton said.

“They won on Tuesday, which might change their mindset come Saturday, because it puts them in a different position (in the league).

“So all these factors influence what they’ll do.

“What’s important is that we continue with the endeavour, the attitude and application, which I don’t think anybody could ever doubt about the players.

“Then we look, with the quality and threat we have, to go and score goals.

“We’re a different prospect this time round playing against Maidenhead than we were the previous game. We’re different.”

Town are waiting on a consultation regarding the extent of Ryan Sellers’ injury, while right-back Michael Duckworth and central midfielder Niall Maher both limped out of Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Ebbsfleet with muscle injuries, so Jacob Hanson and Cameron King could be in line to deputise.

Manny Duku and Devante Rodney’s loans from Cheltenham and Salford respectively both expired after the Ebbsfleet game, but Fullarton was hoping they could be extended.

While Town have generally fared well against the National League’s top sides, a lot of their most disappointing results this season have come against clubs near the bottom rather than the top, with defeats against the likes of Maidenhead, Aldershot, Dover and Havant and Waterlooville, plus draws against Braintree, Aldershot and Havant.

But Fullarton rejects the notion of a clear pattern of success against the top teams and failure against those below them.

“I think if you look at it more in-depth, out of our four games against the bottom two (Braintree and Maidstone), we’ve taken 10 points,” Fullarton said.

“Against teams just above that, you could say it’s been disappointing in terms of points total.

“You can look at the top eight, where we’ve taken I think 19, 20 points out of 13 games, something like that.

“There’s loads of factors within that. When you play against these teams, they come here and believe they can beat you, so they come and play against you.

“Which suits us for what we are and how we play.

“Whereas when teams come and are looking to make sure they don’t lose, there’s a difference there.

“At home, there’s been one or two games where we’ve been disappointed with a draw, against the likes of Havant, Aldershot and Braintree. They’re the games that you reflect on and paper over the overall picture.

“So I think there’s a bit more depth and detail to it. There isn’t actually a clear pattern to it.

“There’s loads of other aspects to it, such as where have you played, how have you played before that, that impact and affect you because of the size of your squad and the constraints you work within.

“So I wouldn’t label us as struggling against teams below us as opposed to raising our game against teams above us.”

The game will round-off a tough week for Town after games against promotion-hopefuls Solihull and Ebbsfleet.

“The demand on the players in both games, against two very physical teams and direct, obviously that takes its toll,” Fullarton added.

“But the players have shown throughout their condition to be able to cope.

“We’ll be looking to make sure there’s an energy, intensity and tempo about our work, just as there has been in the last two games.”