FC Halifax Town: We must share the blame for Billy’s departure, says skipper Brown

Matty Brown in action for Town at Barrow back in August. Picture: LINDSEY DICKINGS
Matty Brown in action for Town at Barrow back in August. Picture: LINDSEY DICKINGS

Town captain Matty Brown is convinced Billy Heath would have kept the club up, and says the players need to take their share of the blame for his departure.

Heath left the club last Wednesday after winning only two of his last 20 league games in charge, despite Town being four points above the relegation zone.

Brown says he was “gutted” when he heard Heath had gone, but is now calling on his team-mates to start putting things right on the pitch.

He said: “The result against Leyton Orient wasn’t what we wanted, we weren’t good enough, and the next day the gaffer and Bobby (assistant manager Mark Carroll) have basically taken the rap for our performances.

“I don’t think we as players are taking enough responsibility. The manager is the one who takes the brunt of it in football but it’s definitely a shared responsibility - we’re as much to blame.

“We’ve always said we win and lose together. We came a long way with the gaffer but as a club we’ve got to regroup because we need to make sure we stay in this league.

“Managers come and go but Halifax will always be here so the club’s always the bigger picture.

“As players we need to get together because we need to kick on now.”

Asked if he was confident Town would have stayed up under Heath, Brown said: “Yeah. It’s a decision the club have had to make where they probably couldn’t run the risk of saying ‘will Billy get us safe?’

“The chairman’s probably thought it’s better to act now. Whether that’s the right or wrong decision only time will tell, but I’m confident Billy would have got us out of this situation.

“He never lost the dressing room. If the players are not playing for a manager, that’s when you need to change it but that wasn’t he case. We just weren’t doing it on the pitch.

“We’ll have a fresh approach now, a new impetus with a different manager and hopefully that can help us get a few results.”

Brown has no doubts that Heath will be back in management soon.

“I’ve enjoyed playing under Billy, it’s been a successful time,” he said.

“Even this season we’ve had good results. Obviously we’ve been on a poor run but I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Billy and Bobby (Mark Carroll, assistant manager).

“Billy was great with me when I was injured, his man-management skills are top drawer.

“He’s been successful in his methods but this season, we couldn’t get things right these last couple of months.

“That’s football, people lose their jobs, but the gaffer won’t struggle to get another job because he’s a good manager, he’s got a proven track record.”

When asked what Heath’s successor at The Shay will inherit, Brown said: “A winning mentality, a group of men that are together and are willing to go that extra yard for a manager and for each other on the pitch.

“Maybe we just need steering in a new direction that will keep us safe.

“But there’s definitely no-one dragging their feet in the dressing room. There’s no fall outs. Everyone’s together and everyone’s got the same objective to stay in this league.”

The Town captain remains “100 per cent” confident Town will stay up, adding “We’ve been sliding in recent weeks but I’m sure we’ve got enough in our dressing room to not just stay up but to hover above it.

“I think we’re a lot better than the sides in and around us. We haven’t been playing great recently but we’ve definitely got the capabilities to pick up three points where we need to in the last 15 games of the season.

“It’s important the fans stick with us, as the majority of them do.

“Obviously you hear what’s said and it does affect the group slightly. But we win and we lose together, it’s not a one-way street.

“I understand the fans’ frustrations when they boo and they’re negative because it’s their club, it’s their passion.

“But the more they’re behind us, like they are most of the time, the better response they’re going to get out of the players on the pitch.”