THE management team of Billy Heath and Mark Carroll are keen for FC Halifax Town to get back into the winning habit.
The Shaymen host Macclesfield in the FA Trophy on Saturday (3.0) having recorded their first win in 13 matches with an impressive 1-0 victory at Aldershot last weekend.
National League leaders Macclesfield will provide another stern test but both clubs know what it takes to get to the final. Halifax won the competition in 2016 and Macclesfield lost to York at Wembley last season.
John Askey’s side have the best away record in the division this season, while no other team has conceded fewer away goals in the fifth tier.
However, Heath and Carroll, who won the FA Trophy while in charge at North Ferriby in 2015, want Town to build on last week’s win.
Heath described the shock success away to the Shots as a “massive boost.”
He added: “We had not had a lot of luck before Aldershot, especially against Barrow and Eastleigh, but the players have been putting in a lot of effort and got their just rewards last Saturday.”
He said winning games bred confidence and the Shaymen would be going all out to follow up against a good Macclesfield side.
Town were unable to train on Tuesday evening, with both possible venues unfit, but that was not too much of a concern for Heath at this stage of the season and after the weekend’s long trip.
He said the players would be having a “sharp” session on Thursday evening.
Lofty striker Tom Denton is available again after serving a one-match ban and the manager said there were a “few chances” of players on a lengthy injury list returning.
Winger Josh Macdonald and striker Ben Tomlinson appear the most likely candidates.
Carroll, meanwhile, said: “When you haven’t been winning matches, you want to keep that momentum going.
“The club and myself and Bill have had some fantastic experiences with the FA Trophy, so it’s not something we’re going to take lightly.
“We don’t get the time on the training pitch that some of these other clubs get, so we can’t really waste a Saturday going into that game experimenting,” said Carroll.
“We’re at home in front of our fans and we want to win again. We’ll be taking it seriously and we’re looking forward to it.”
Carroll had news of other injured players.
Michael Duckworth was rated a possible to face Macclesfield while Matty Kosylo is said to be “not far off”.
The Macclesfield game may come too soon for him but he is expected to be back in time for Town’s Christmas schedule.
Nathan Hotte is said to be another “two or three weeks” away from a return.
Martin Riley has started running again but won’t be back until after Christmas.
Although Town may have more players available tomorrow, Carroll wants some of the fringe players who featured against Aldershot due to the club’s injury problems to show why they should keep their place.
Carroll added: “Players get into a groove. We need to get as much out of the game on Saturday, so it’s a big game for us.
“We want to start winning matches, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a friendly or a cup game, it’s about getting into good habits.
“The players need to put their hand up and say to the gaffer ‘I don’t want to lose my place in this team now’.
“Now we’re getting bodies back it adds that bit of extra competition for places, and we can go that bit tougher on them in training because we’ve got the squad.