FC Halifax Town: There’ll be no fear from us, says skipper Brown ahead of Salford clash

Matty Brown blocks a shot by Dior Angus in Halifax's 0-0 draw at Barrow. Picture: NW Mail
Matty Brown blocks a shot by Dior Angus in Halifax's 0-0 draw at Barrow. Picture: NW Mail

Captain Matty Brown says Town will take on big-spending Salford with no fear when the two sides meet at The Shay on Saturday.

Salford go into the game in high spirits after the announcement that former England captain David Beckham has become a shareholder in the club.

Graham Alexander’s side are just one point behind National League leaders Leyton Orient, with only Solihull Moors having won more league games than them and no side having scored more goals.

“If you look at our record, we’ve done better against the higher-placed sides,” said Brown.

“I don’t know if it’s a mentality thing - you need to apply yourself to every opposition in this league - but it’s one of those things.

“There’ll be no fear from us. We’ll be looking to exploit Salford’s weaknesses.

“We’re at home, we’ve got to get our fans behind us.

“I understand the frustration from the fans. We all want to be winning. Us as players are just as frustrated as the fans, but we need them behind us and all pulling in the same direction.”

And beating Salford would go a long way towards doing that.

“Of course. It’s frustrating to hear the negativity at times. I totally understand it as a fan, I’ve been there myself as an Everton fan, I’ve been in that position plenty of times!

“But they don’t half help us. I know it’s a cliche but they are a 12th man, they’re that good when they’re behind us.

“So we need them to get behind us, because they do help us a lot.”

Only Chesterfield have more draws in the National League than Halifax, whose 0-0 draw at Barrow last Saturday was their 13th of the league campaign.

“Even if we’d won two of those, you’re in a totally different position, it’s that tight,” said Brown.

“It’ll come. Obviously we’ve got to be aware of what’s behind us, but as soon as we click I think we’ll go on a good run.

“With the quality we’ve got we should be nowhere near where we are, but we’ve got to embrace the fact that we are.

“I think the signs are there that it’s only a matter of time. As soon as that first goal goes in, I think we will build on it.

“We’re creating chances and getting in good areas, but it’s just not happening for us at the minute, which happens in football. you’ve just got to stay patient.

“I’ve been here before, I know what’s required, and I’m not worried, but we do need to start picking the points up.”

Brown is keen for The Shaymen to reach that magical 50 point mark - generally regarded as what’s required for safety in the National League - before a tough-looking end to the season, which includes games against top five sides Wrexham, Leyton Orient and Fylde.

“I like to break it up into mini-goals. Get to 50 points as quick as possible is my personal goal,” he said.

“I don’t care how we do it, as long as we get there.

“You look at our last month of the season and it’s a very tough month. We need to get the points on board as soon as possible because we don’t want to drag ourselves into that.

“The first win I think will springboard us and we’ll go on a bit of a run, because the quality’s there, it’s just a bit of frustration at the minute.

“But as soon as things click, it’ll be good.”

Brown is wary about Town getting dragged further towards the fight to avoid relegation - the gap is currently five points - but sees no repeat of their demotion in 2016 on the horizon.

“In the first 10 games when we were around the top of league, my objective then wasn’t to win the league or reach the play-offs, it was still get to 50 points ass quick as we can,” he said.

“I don’t care who you are, bigger teams than Halifax, with the greatest respect, have gone down from this league.

“We’ve gone down before. It’s a very unforgiving league, it takes no prisoners and doesn’t care who you are or how much money you’ve got. If you’re not delivering, you will get sucked in.

“Unfortunately I’ve been in that position before with this club, and I definitely don’t want to see it again. I’m convinced it’s not going to happen again, and it’s not really entering my mind at this moment in time.

“But we do have to stop hanging in and around it. We’ve had opportunities to push away and we haven’t really done that.

“We’re fully aware of the situation but it’s not panic stations for us by any means.

“I’m confident it’ll come. We’re coming away to places like Barrow and picking up points, but I think teams who are getting relegated would be getting done 3-0 or 4-0.

“There’s positives, and we just need to turn our home form into a bit more wins.

“Even with the draws, you’d be better winning, losing, winning losing for the points return.

“It’s nice to be unbeaten but we want to turn those draws into wins.”

Brown was encouraged by Halifax’s performance in their 0-0 draw at Barrow last Saturday, and felt The Shaymen deserved to win.

“On the first-half performance, definitely,” he said.

“I think away from home, when you don’t take those sorts of chances, you’re your own worst enemy.

“I’m told the goal in the first-half was onside. On a different day you get them, and another day we go in 2-0 up at half-time.

“But in the grand scheme of things I think it’s a good point, coming away to places like Barrow and taking something from the game is what you want.

“We just need to make sure we’re making The Shay a bit more of a fortress.

“With Salford, we’ve got to go into it with no fear and play with the shackles off, like I feel at times we did at Barrow.

“The link-ups were better up-front and I think it’s only a matter of time before we give a good hiding to a team I think.”