"The intention is for us to go out and be more front-footed" - Millington on Marine, home form and Saturday's FA Cup tie

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Chris Millington says he wants Town to be more front-footed as they aim to record only their second home win of the season on Saturday against Marine in the FA Cup.

A place in the first round of the competition is at stake against the Northern Premier League Premier Division side, who are managed by ex-Halifax caretaker-boss Neil Young, but to get there The Shaymen will need to register their first win in seven home outings.

While Town have been impressive on the road this season, including back-to-back victories at Woking and Ebbsfleet over the last week, they have failed to replicate that form at The Shay, too often being second best to their visitors and leaving some Halifax fans wanting to see a more attacking, positive approach.

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"That's what we try and do. It's not an unfair comment and it's not that we're not trying to do that," Millington said.

Chris MillingtonChris Millington
Chris Millington

"We've just not achieved it yet but the intention is for us to go out and be more front-footed and in some games I think we have been.

"Bromley, the first-half against Oxford City we were very good. There've been patches within games.

"But other times, whether it's something about us that's caused us to drop off or things the opposition have done to us that have caused us to drop off, we have dropped off too often in the home games.

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"It's certainly not our wish to do that, we want to be more front-footed and that's what we're working to be."

When asked if Saturday's game was a chance for Town start improving their home form, Millington said: "Every home game is a chance for us to do that.

"It is a frustration that we set-up all our pre-season planning and our recruitment around making sure we've got a team that can perform well at The Shay, and although there have been some good performances and some good bits of home games, the results haven't reflected that.

"Clearly there have been some poor performances and some poor parts of games, so we want to increase those good bits and turn them into performances and results."

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The Shaymen have struggled to make much of an impact in the FA Cup in recent seasons, being knocked out by lower league opposition including Ebbsfleet, Kidderminster and South Shields.

"We want to do well in every competition but there's an added glamour and incentive in the FA Cup with the prospect of possibly getting to the further reaches of the competition and playing some of the bigger teams," Millington said.

"What we've got to do is make sure we take care of business on Saturday before that.

"We treat every game the same. We do everything we can to try and prepare properly, understand the threats our opposition will pose and understand the potential areas we can exploit and what we need to do to try and win the game."

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Millington feels it would be naïve for Town fans to expect their team to dominate the game and rack up a 3-0 or 4-0 win just because they're playing a lower-league outfit.

"The hardest teams to play are often the teams who are a couple of levels below you who are used to winning," he said.

"There was evidence of that last season with Ebbsfleet, Marine are similar in that they're in good form, they're used to winning and scoring goals.

"People will look at it and say only a heavy victory is success, anything else is failure, but what we're interested in is making sure we win the game and progressing to the next round.

"However we achieve that, we'll view it as success."

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On whether he felt Marine, who are fifth in their division, will fancy their chances because of Halifax's struggles at home, Millington said: "They're in a rich vein of form, they're the only team to take points off Radcliffe this season and we've got first-hand knowledge that Radcliffe are a strong team.

"I don't think Maine will be seeing us as a team, on the fringe of the play-offs in the National League, as a soft touch, they'll be looking at their own form and thinking 'if we turn up, perform and get a bit of luck, then we can beat them', that'd be my mantra if we were in Marine's position."

When asked if there would be changes to his line-up for the game, Millington said: "First and foremost, it's on merit, and then it's also on what players we believe would be best equipped to beat Marine.

"And also, with our recent injury woes, we've got to make sure we're not putting any more of our players at any undue risk."

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Striker Aaron Cosgrave looks to be in with a good chance of starting after coming off the bench to score in the win at Ebbsfleet last Saturday.

"We've hopefully got Jamie Cooke back in training this week, so he'll challenge for that position, and Milli Alli's done fantastic as well for us up there," Millington said.

"Pound for pound, he's probably our strongest player physically, so he's someone who can play that middle striker role really well.

"But that's also the position Aaron's come in to play. He's due his opportunity but we've got two or three options in there, but clearly Aaron's one of the frontrunners for that position."

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