Shaymen in a "good place" says Johnson as skipper chases another play-off finish

No-one at The Shay is better qualified to judge a Halifax squad's chances of reaching the play-offs than Sam Johnson.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The Town skipper is into his ninth season at the club, three of which have ended in a play-off finish.

And the goalkeeper reckons The Shaymen are currently on course to add another play-off campaign to that list.

"I think we're in a really good place," he said.

Sam Johnson. Pic: Marcus BranstonSam Johnson. Pic: Marcus Branston
Sam Johnson. Pic: Marcus Branston
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The table doesn't lie, we're currently the eighth best team in the league and I think the last six games or so have really proved that.

"If you'd spoken to me six or seven games ago it would've been a different story but take away the last couple of games, where we've played OK but not got the right result and I think we're looking like a team who can reach the play-offs, which is the target for us."

Town lost 1-0 at Maidenhead on Saturday after their enforced two-week break and now face back-to-back home games against Wealdstone and Fylde.

"Good teams bounce back after difficult results," Johnson said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"There's going to be bumps in the road, and looking back on previous seasons that I've been here, certainly under Pete (Wild), every time we lost we'd get back to winning ways.

"It's important to bounce back, especially when you've got two home games coming up, you want to maximise those results.

"I don't think it'd be the end of the world if we didn't, we've just put a good run together so we know we're capable of doing that."

Town produced their most consistent run of form so far this season before losing at Maidenhead, winning four out of five league games, and Johnson wants them to start another good run this weekend.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"You need to be consistent to reach the play-offs, and looking back at least season we'd have seven or eight games where we were really good and then seven or eight games where we'd be bad," said the Halifax captain.

"That led to where we were in the league at the end of the season, so consistency is important.

"I've always said to the lads in meetings about putting runs together where you stay unbeaten and one point is better than none.

"Staying unbeaten breeds confidence when you go into games, when you haven't been beaten for a while.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"If we try and stay unbeaten for as long as possible in spells during the season, that'll stand us in good stead."

Halifax go into their Shay double-header having registered back-to-back home wins against Kidderminster and Hartlepool, having previously failed to win in seven home matches.

"Hopefully we've turned a little corner at home," Johnson said.

"The Kidderminster game was massive for us, it released some of the tension in the lads and in the stadium.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I could feel it before the game against Hartlepool, it's a domino effect really. The pressure seemed to ease off us and we played with a bit more freedom, which the crowd then reacts to and we react to.

"We're hoping to pick up maximum points but it's never that easy.

"Wealdstone are similar to us, they've probably got aspirations of reaching the play-offs and Fylde have a really good team and seem to have turned a bit of a corner.

"This league changes really quickly, you put a run together and it moves you up the table.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We've got to be on it but I'm hoping the Kidderminster and Hartlepool games have changed our fortunes and if we can get maximum points we'll be sitting in a good place."

Johnson added: "It was the home form that was letting the majority of the fans down, with how we were playing and not getting the results.

"I knew we had the results in us, we were playing OK and we were putting some good stuff together away from home.

"We just weren't getting the results at home, and the pressure did start to build a bit but the monkey seems to have come off our back and if we can make The Shay a fortress like we know it can be and like I've seen it be in the past, that'd be great."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Johnson is confident that there is more to come from The Shaymen as the season goes on.

"You'd probably say the most consistent part of our team has been the back lads," he said.

"We've not conceded many goals.

"Kane (Thomson-Sommers) and Flo (Hoti) have come in and been really good, Ryan Galvin seems to have got himself going and has been really good in the last few games.

"They're young lads who haven't played a lot of football at times. If they get more games under their belt and we have the likes of Summers (Luke Summerfield) coming back and some of the other lads like Cookie (Jamie Cooke) and Rob (Harker), and if they can get back firing, we've got a really good chance."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And Johnson says there is a belief in the Halifax squad that they can end the season in the play-offs.

"I feel it, yeah," he said. "There's been some games this season where we've been really good.

"Off the back of some of them I think 'why not?'.

"I'm here to achieve something along those lines, I want to be at the top end of the table.

"We've worked really hard over the last 19 games and what we've got to do is back that up over the next 10 or 15 games with some really consistent performances.

"That's when football starts getting really exciting, when you've got 10 games left and every point and every win can get you in those play-offs.

"If we can do that, that'd be amazing."