FC Halifax Town: No case for the defence, admits Roberts

Football - FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Guiseley. Kevin Roberts
Football - FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Guiseley. Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts believes Town’s leaky defence is the biggest reason they have been relegated from the National League.

Halifax conceded 82 goals this season, six more than any other team in the Conference,

Football - FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Guiseley. Kevin Roberts

Football - FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Guiseley. Kevin Roberts

That was their worst defensive record for 14 years since conceding 84 when they were relegated from the Football League in 2002.

Roberts is well-placed to assess Town’s shortcomings, having made 48 appearances for them this season.

“Too many goals conceded - that’s been the problem,” Roberts said.

“I couldn’t see relegation coming at the start of the season and I think we proved over the second half of the season that we are good defenders.

“It was in the first half of the season when the damage was done and we weren’t good enough as a unit and as a team.

“It just wasn’t working, whether we were a back four or a back five.

“That’s mainly down to the players but Jim has brought in a lot more organisation and it’s the same players as it was at the beginning, we just didn’t knit together.”

Roberts came within inches of earning Town a last-gasp reprieve when he headed against the post in added time last weekend.

“It was coming across me and I just got what I could on it but it wasn’t enough,” he said.

“Then Danny hit the second chance over - it just didn’t seem to be our day. It’s such fine margins.”

Roberts was also relegated from League Two with Chester in 2009.

“It’s the second time I’ve been relegated but the first time there were other issues such as not getting paid and financial problems.

“This is the first time it’s properly happened if you like and I’m gutted the same as everyone else.

“No-one was speaking in the changing room afterwards. We were all just so low.

“It’s a hard one to take because we thought we had enough to stay up.”

Roberts feels Town would have been safe had Jim Harvey been in charge all season, but feels their run to the final of the FA Trophy may have played a part in their relegation.

He said: “Maybe the FA Trophy affected things - you can’t keep winning on both fronts and I’d certainly swap some of the FA Trophy wins for points in the league - Wembley or no Wembley.

“It takes the shine off that final now, I definitely won’t enjoy it as much.

“I’m gutted for the fans. It’s not good enough just getting to Wembley but we have to try and win it for them now.

“It’s the least we can do.”

Roberts is unsure over who will be staying or going at The Shay this summer, but is expecting a few departures.

He added: “I can’t see everyone staying, there might be a few, but it’s up to the club and Jim, if he’s still here, who he wants to keep and which players want to stay.”