FC Halifax Town: We wanted to put Cheltenham defeat right, says Roberts

Actions from FC Halifax Town v Cheltenham at the Shay, Halifax. Kevin Roberts
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Cheltenham at the Shay, Halifax. Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts admits the Town squad were determined to make up for their 7-1 mauling by Cheltenham by bouncing back with a win at Altrincham.

Halifax slumped to their heaviest defeat for 12 years last Saturday, but recovered in fine style to win in midweek to notch their first away victory since March.

Roberts capped a superb individual performance by setting-up both Jordan Burrow’s goals, and said it was important Town responded from their weekend humiliation.

“The lads just wanted to put it right, no matter what the performance was like,” he said.

“We said we just wanted to work hard and get the three points and we that’s what we did, we ground it out.

“Saturday was probably the most embarrassing game of my career to be honest.

“All the lads just wanted to wipe that from the memory bank and get the three points on Tuesday so we could forget about it.”

Roberts admits the Town squad were in a state of shock in the changing room after their 7-1 loss.

“No-one was speaking,” he said. “You’d have more arguments if you get beat 3-1 or 4-1 but everyone was just gob-smacked.

“We were embarrassed more than anything and we just wanted to put it right for the fans and the new management team.

“You want to impress them and obviously 7-1 wasn’t the best start.”

Roberts was one of the Town squad in attendance for Kelly’s first training session on Monday, and says he and Jim Harvey have had a positive impact.

“The new gaffer and Jim both said (Saturday) was unacceptable, it won’t happen again and just to forget about it,” he said.

“We had to put it right on Tuesday and we did.

“They’ve both been brilliant, really upbeat.

“They want to get us playing football but to get the right results first.

“All the lads enjoyed the first training session with them.”

Now a long overdue win is under Town’s belt, Roberts’ next target is ending their 23-game wait for a clean sheet.

“I’ve been saying it every week and that’s another embarrassment for us,” he said.

“I can’t remember many games we haven’t scored in so if we can keep a clean sheet we’ll get three points so we’ve got to make that our priority.”

Town switched from a flat back four to a 3-5-2 formation for the win at Altrincham, which is a system Roberts says the squad are comfortable in, even if it does mean more running for the wing-backs.

“It’s a lot tougher physically because you’re expected to be a winger and a defender,” he added.

“But I’m just happy to be on the pitch and doing a job for the team. I’ll play anywhere.

“At the minute, with the goals we’ve been conceding, we haven’t been anywhere near good enough.

“we’ve generally played quite well in that and we feel comfortable in that which might be why the gaffer went with that.

“It might not be his philosophy or his preferred option but at the minute we’re feeling comfortable in it.

“I’m not sure what it’ll be in the next game but if we play 3-5-2 I’m sure we’ll cope.”

The former Chester and Cambridge defender admits he’s not been happy with his own form, like most of the squad, out of which he believes only striker Jordan Burrow has shown what he’s capable of.

“I don’t think anyone’s been pleased with their form,” he said.

“No-one’s been good enough, maybe just Jordan - no-one can argue with his goal ratio.

“He’s worked hard and us as defenders have felt sorry for him really and we’ve been wanting to put things right.”