FC Halifax Town: Tighten up at the back and we’ve got a chance, says Fullarton

FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Warrington Town. Jamie Fullarton
FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Warrington Town. Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton says his side will have a chance of causing a cup upset at Morecambe tomorrow (3.0) if they tighten up at the back.

The Shaymen conceded two avoidable goals as they lost 2-1 at Havant and Waterlooville last Saturday, which extended their winless league run to 12 games.

But they switch their attentions to the FA Cup tomorrow when they travel to League Two side Morecambe in the first round.

“We look to perform to the best of our abilities every week,” said Fullarton.

“What we’ve got to make sure we don’t do is unforced errors, or give encouragement to any opposition by not defending correctly, and not taking responsibility for wherever we are in the team.

“When we talk about not defending properly, that’s not the back four and goalkeeper, that’s the team.

“Whilst that’s cost us in recent weeks, if we can prevent that from happening, then I think with the players that we have, even though we’re deep into the squad through injuries and suspensions, then we’ve got an opportunity to win the game.”

Morecambe go into the clash on the back of a 2-1 home win over Yeovil, which leaves them 20th in the division.

“It’s the FA Cup, and whilst we can say it’s just another game and our approach will be the same, which it will, but it’s a cup competition, winner takes all,” said Fullarton.

“Whilst we were in the position of being in the higher league in the last round against Warrington, we find ourselves against a team from a higher league.

“Although they’re in the bottom six in League Two, I think if you look at their results, and their game on Saturday, then it’s going to be a difficult game.

“But that’s true of whoever you play in a cup game, as we found out with Warrington.

“We’re looking forward to it. No doubt the fans are.

“It’s the FA Cup, we’re using the official FA Cup balls now in the first round, which is only a small detail, but it helps to create that feeling that it is the FA Cup.

“We’re under no illusions though that it’s not going to be a difficult game.”

When asked whether the game was a welcome break or an unwelcome distraction from the league, Fullarton said: “I don’t have feelings at all towards that. I know that’s bandied about regularly that it gives players a mental break from the league, or a distraction.

“It’s not, it’s game, it’s an opportunity of winning, whether it’s a cup game or a league game.

“The fans like it, there is something different about the cup, the lead up to it.

“We want to remain consistent with our preparation and how we look at the opposition and what we look to do, and impose ourselves on the game to try and win the game.

“From that aspect it doesn’t make a difference. There is a certain sense and feeling among the players and everybody involved, which is a tide you’re trying to fight as a manager, that it is different.

“But I don’t agree that it’s a welcomed break or distraction, because the word distraction in itself suggests a lack of focus, or it doesn’t matter. It does matter, and it matters as much as three points on a Saturday, the chance to be in the next round of the cup.”

Town will be without the suspended Matty Kosylo from the match.

“It’s disappointing because it limits, as a manager, players you can select from,” Fullarton said.

“It’s disappointing not to have any player through injury or suspension, more so suspension because they’re more controllable.

“But, as I’ve touched on before, it gives others an opportunity to play and perform, and that’s when the responsibility passes to players.

“We’re without him, we can’t do anything about that, so my focus has to be on players that can help us on Saturday.”

Fullarton added that work is continuing behind-the-scenes to try and add to his squad.

“Every day, I’m working trying to get us to head of the queue in bringing players in,” he said.

“You’re looking to build a competitive squad, but injuries have ravaged our squad, and that’s why you look to bring players in, to create competition for places, and to prevent injuries or suspension derailing what you’re trying to do.

“We’re tirelessly working to try and do something, but there’s many aspects and factors that I don’t control that impact that.

“Therefore, when you have a filter system like that, that all clubs have at varying degrees, it makes it difficult at times.

“But it’s not for the lack of hard work and trying. We’re looking to continually improve the squad, and add competition to a squad that has had it’s injuries.”