"The lads are giving absolutely everything," says Cooper ahead of Town's clash with Oldham Athletic

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Andy Cooper says The Shaymen players are giving it absolutely everything in their pursuit of a top seven finish as they prepare to host Oldham Athletic.

When or where Halifax will host Oldham remains unclear after the Shay pitch was again left in a muddy condition following Halifax Panthers' game, against Batley, in the rain on Sunday.

That means another uphill battle to get the Shay pitch playable for a Town game, with some rain forecast for each between now and Wednesday.

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But Cooper says all the focus from the playing and coaching staff is on preparing as normal, despite the uncertainty.

Andy CooperAndy Cooper
Andy Cooper

"It's out of our control. We'd love it to be in our control but it's not," he told the Courier.

"We've got the schedule ready to go in terms of the analysis, the preparation, the training.

"If there's anything that changes we'll just have to adapt like we have for all the other times.

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"I think we've handled it really well. There's a siege mentality that can form from that, a no-excuse culture.

"We're honest, we're hard-working and we're reliable as people to put a plan together and be able to deliver it.

"If it changes, we'll adapt and that's been a strength of ours over the last two seasons."

Town are back in the top seven thanks to their win at Kidderminster on Saturday, which followed Aldershot's defeat at Hartlepool.

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"We've just got to prepapre for a strong Oldham side that I'm assuming will come and be a physcial test," Cooper said when asked if being back in the play-off places helped take some of the pressure off Halifax going into the Oldham match.

"Because of previous postponements we've been able to watch a few Oldham games live so we've got a good idea of how the operate, how they play.

"They've got a large squad so they're able to rotate in that sense. It'll be another physical battle that we'll have to stand up to.

"But we have to focus on ourselves as well and put in a performance that backs up the one at Kidderminster that has the same traits, like honesty and being hard-working.

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"But that has that added bit of quality we were lacking in the first-half."

Town were again below-par at Kidderminster but dug in to register a vital three points in the promotion race.

"It's fair to say we're definitely getting full committment, full energy and that the lads are giving absolutely everything," said Cooper.

"That is clear to see and was clear to see on Saturday for the fans who were there, who were great and got right behind us.

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"I think they understand that it's not going to be the prettiest football at this stage.

"The players have been superb.

"We know we've got the ability to produce quality performances, like against Chesterfield, where we had to dig in as well, like at Kidderminster.

"So we're probably showing more all-round depth to our game over the last few weeks in our performances."

On the mood in the Town camp as the season draws to a close, Cooper said: "I think it remains upbeat and confident, without getting too far ahead of ourselves because we know that each game now is a real challenge in terms of the quick turnarounds.

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"But there's no doubt the players believe they can have a real strong finish to the season and keep up the momentum we've build in the last few weeks."

Winger Angelo Cappello suffered a slight aggrivation to his hamstring late last week.

"He suffered a slight setback in training on Friday so he's gone for further tests, which is a blow," Cooper said.

And on defender Jo Cummings, Cooper said: "He's absolutely chomping at the bit to get going.

"We're starting to get bodies back now, which is great, and get lads back on the bench who are absolutely desperate to contribute, which is a really strong sign for this stage of the season."

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