FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild insists his side is not feeling the pressure as they bid to secure a play-off place when Yeovil Town come to The Shay this weekend.
The manager, who saw red (and went a bit red) when his side lost the reverse fixture in September, saw the gap from fourth-placed Solihull Moors cut to just two points last weekend.
The Shaymen went down 1-0 at Southend United whilst Solihull picked up a win with third place offering home advantage in a one-off play-off semi-final.
A win for Wild’s team on Saturday would guarantee a play-off place, a win or a draw would set a new record for the highest points total the club has recorded in the fifth tier since reforming, while a win would equal their best points tally in the previous ten seasons.
Speaking to the Halifax Courier, the boss said: “I honestly don’t feel that there’s any pressure on us, I feel that we’ve just got to keep going,” Wild said.
“The only pressure is what people try to create outside to try and put us under pressure, I don’t feel a pressure and the players hopefully don’t feel a pressure.
“All they need to do is play the game and not the result, just worry about Yeovil on Saturday, don’t worry about what happens on Monday, don’t worry about what happens next Saturday, just play the game.”
Having lost at home to Maidenhead United on the opening day of the season, only promotion-chasing Wrexham and Boreham Wood (before their FA Cup run scuppered them) have won at The Shay in National League action this season.
Last time out in front of their own fans they picked up a 2-0 win over fellow promotion chasers Chesterfield with one Matt Warburton on target.
FROM THE MANAGER
Shaymen boss Pete Wild is expecting more of what he and his side experienced when Yeovil came out on top at Huish Park back in September, despite the change of manager from Darren Sarll to Charlie Lee.
He told the Halifax Courier: “Yeovil are off the back of an excellent win on Saturday, I know Charlie tried to keep a lot of the same traits Darren had and keep a lot of things going.
“I’d expect a team that’s like Charlie as a player, full of tenacity, full of energy, full of drive, wants to get in your faces and make it difficult for us, exactly what they did to Stockport last Saturday.
“I’d expect a lot of that on Saturday because that’s a reflection of Charlie as a person and a footballer, so I’d expect more of what Southend gave us last Saturday.”
Former Glovers’ defender Tom Bradbury will be missing this weekend after picking up a knee injury on Easter Monday.
The centre half, who moved to West Yorkshire following his release from Huish Park in the summer of 2020, had been expected to be out for six weeks but may be back in time for the club’s play-off campaign.
Fellow defender Niall Maher, whose foul on Tom Knowles gave the Glovers a penalty in the reverse fixture, is also a doubt after suffering a hip injury in the loss at Southend.
On loan Pierce Bird, who joined from National League strugglers King’s Lynn last month, could be an option at the back.
Winger Jamie Allen is expected to be missing with a hamstring strain, but midfielder Martin Woods, who had a three game loan spell at Yeovil in 2008, returns after suspension.
A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS
Matt Warburton is the obvious link between these two sides and is showing the class which Yeovil Town supporters saw far too little of during his time at Huish Park.
The midfielder has formed an impressive partnership alongside Jordan Slew and Billy Waters in the Halifax front line and will be looking to show his old employers what they missed this weekend.
The 29-year-old joined on loan from Northampton Town in October 2020 and was with Yeovil until the end of last season, but only made 19 appearances. Following his return to Northampton he was released and returned to the North joining Halifax in the summer.
Tom Bradbury is another familiar face having spent the 2019-20 season at Yeovil but he seems likely to miss out with a knee injury this weekend, but Shaymen midfielder Martin Woods, who had a spell on loan at Yeovil in 2008, could feature having returned from suspension.
In the Glovers’ squad, injured midfielder Josh Staunton was a popular figure in West Yorkshire before moving to South Somerset last season. He will be missing having just undergone surgery on a groin hernia.