Defender Josh Wilde feels that the Shaymen are finally starting to get back to their usual selves after what has been a difficult few months of injuries and a dip in form.
Billy Heath’s men ended a winless run spanning over two months with a 1-0 victory over Aldershot Town in December, and have since gone on to beat Chester along with picking up good away points at Dover Athletic and, most recently, Maidenhead United.
For Wilde, the experiences with injuries in the squad so far, this season is something completely different to what he is used to, but, along with his teammates, he is starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
“It is difficult and that was probably our downfall. We started the season so well because we had a settled side, which is something that Billy Heath has managed to keep over the years with the sides he has managed.
“I’d say nearly half of my games this season were at right back for a large part of it. It’s just one of those things where you do your best with what you’ve got. The amount of injuries this season has been ridiculous so that’s been a major factor.
“If we had a strong 20-man squad we could have had a few rotations and picked up more points, but it is what it is. It’s been difficult playing alongside different people, but we are slowly getting back to fitness as a team and it’s showing in the results again”.
Naturally, there are still some injury issues not quite put to bed just yet, as the Christmas period has taken its toll on a few of the players, including Wilde himself. However, he says he has always remained positive and put a good shift in to help the side out.
“We’ve been massively busy, and we’ve had lots of injuries, so we haven’t had the option of swapping people round and giving others a little rest. Obviously, it could catch up with us at some point.
“We are managing to get a few people back but then we seem to get more injuries, so for me there is no respite. I think some of the lads are starting to feel it now, I could feel it in my hamstring on Saturday, but I don’t think the pitch helped.
“Stuff like that can affect us but you have got to keep going, when you get called to the team you give it the best you can”.
Now though, with the busy period behind us, the Shaymen take a break from the league as the FA Trophy comes into play this week, where we will finally play the first-round tie against Macclesfield Town on Tuesday night.
The Silkmen are a side we know all too well in recent weeks, after the 4-1 defeat on New Year’s Day at the MBi Shay Stadium. However, Wilde says the Trophy fixtures bring a different aspect to the game, although the aim of getting revenge for the last result remains the same.
“Especially this season there is a lot of pressure to stay up and the lads are fighting for as many points as we can get. A break from that gives you more freedom to express yourself and try things maybe you wouldn’t do in a league game because one mistake there can cost you three points.
“We will want to enjoy the game because we go into games knowing we need the points so sometimes it can be stressful on the pitch.
“We don’t know whether they will field a weakened side as their attention could be on the league but whoever they play will be a tough side… We know a win will see us through, so we will do our best to try and show them what we can do”.
If you cannot make it to the game against Macclesfield, then there will be live match updates along with commentary available on the club website.
Read more posts by Ben Armitage