FC Halifax Town: Town in confident mood ahead of long trip to Dover, says boss Fullarton

Jamie Fullarton
Jamie Fullarton

Boss Jamie Fullarton says his Town side will make the long trip to Dover on Saturday (3.0) full of confidence as they look to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches.

The Shaymen drew 1-1 at Barnet on Tuesday thanks to Salford loanee Devante Rodney’s second goal in as many games.

Victory at Dover would put Town on the 50-point mark generally accepted as enough for safety in the National League, and could move them back up to 12th in the table.

Dover are just two points above the relegation zone, and Fullarton is wary of facing a side fighting for their lives in the scrap to avoid the drop.

“That brings it’s own difficulties,” he said. “Take aside where they are in the league, Andy Hessenthaler’s left Eastleigh to go there, which is an indication of what his thoughts were of infrastructure, finances or the possibility of him being successful.

“They’ve had some good results recently, and it’ll be a very difficult game on the back of a long trip on Tuesday, to travel to the other end of the country.

“But whether we’re home or away, whoever we’re playing, we go with a confidence that’s built from one defeat in 13, and only two goals conceded in that.

“I think when you have that base to build from, it gives you a belief that you can go and win games.”

Left-back Ryan Sellers missed the Barnet game with a knee injury, while Matty Kosylo and Manny Duku were forced off with injuries in that match, so could be doubts for Dover.

Midfielder James Berrett is available though after completing his three-game suspension.

The loans of midfielders James Ferry and James Hardy are both due to expire after Saturday’s clash.

Ferry’s loan from Stevenage cannot be extended, but Fullarton said he would speak to Fylde about Hardy’s future.

However, Fylde boss Dave Challinor has said he was hoping to speak to Halifax to get Hardy back prior to Saturday.

“We’ll look to see what Fylde’s thoughts are,” Fullarton said. “Obviously it’s in their hands.

“Unfortunately, when you do borrow, beg and steal players like I have done all season, and used my relationships and bargaining power, then you’re beholden to them, and it’ll come down to where we’re at, but that’s a discussion I’ll look to have with them.

“I think he’s contributed,” Fullarton said of Hardy. “What competition for places does, which I keep stressing, is maximises performance levels.

“When there’s players pushing each other as a group, and it’s competitive, then you squeeze every ounce out.

“Even on Tuesday, with us having the possibility to make changes off the bench, it gave us the ascendancy.

“I think James hasn’t only added competition, but the period in which he’s been at the club, we’ve had good performances, which have been matched by results.”

When asked if he felt Town were in a good place at the moment, with three wins from their last five matches, Fullarton said: “Whilst it was a worthy point (at Barnet), we were still disappointed because we’re striving to win every game.

“When we gained the ascendancy having scored, we thought we were going to win the game, and that’s what we’re trying to do in every game.

“We’ve got nine games to go. Whether we’re in a good place or not, it’s a balanced place.

“It’s just having what I say to the players regularly, which is trust and belief. Trust in each other, belief in what we’re doing.

“The way the industry is, the media are the drivers of that blow-with-the-wind scenario.

“I would hope I’ve been very similar when we were top of the league, when we couldn’t score goals or any other stage of the season.

“If you look at how we approach the games, whether we’re home or away, there’s a belief, confidence and trust among the group.

“We look at things over the piece, and don’t allow our memory to play tricks on us.”

Fullarton does feel his side’s recent results have been what their performances have deserved.

“Ultimately it’s a results business. One league defeat in 13, two in 16 - in any league, it’s credible.

“I think when we’ve had a strong squad to pick from, options, and being able to pick a team, then performances, in particular the last month to six weeks, have been reflected by the results.”

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