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First Team

Aldershot Town: Small Tight Squad

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Fri 24 Jan 2014
Posted in First Team

As FC Halifax Town set about travelling down south for their league clash against Aldershot Town on Saturday, ever present midfielder Matt Pearson is confident that the side can return with all three points and win their second away win of the season.

Collecting single points from both established sides Wrexham and Cambridge has left Pearson optimistic ahead of Saturday’s game in Hampshire: “Cambridge are one of the best teams in our league. It shows as they are up there. To get the draw just shows that we can compete against anyone in this league. We have a small, tight squad and need to stick together to go down there and get the win.

“We just need to keep our little run going, as in playing well and to try and stay unbeaten. We need to try and get another win away from home, that is what we need. We can’t get too carried away, a clean sheet and a win away from home would be perfect.”

Unlike the Shots, Halifax will have not played in a week, whereas Saturday’s hosts beat Barnet 3-1 on Tuesday night. The rest has come at a good time for Neil Aspin’s men, and Pearson has relished the opportunity to take a well deserved break.

“We had a few knocks from the Cambridge game, so we needed to rest. Over the Christmas period we had a lot of games, and we had quite a few tired legs. We like playing one game a week as it gives us time to rest and to prepare for the game on the weekend.”

Halifax will challenge the game without a natural left-back, as Scott McManus is ruled out with suspension, after being given his marching orders against the U’s having picked up two yellow cards. Captain Danny Lowe has started his recovery from his injury but is unlikely to make his return this weekend. Although this slight predicament, Pearson remains positive that whoever slots in will do a great job.

“We won’t have a recognised left-back so the manager will have to make the decision regarding who is going to play in that position. Macca (McManus) is a very good player and a player who we will miss, but we can’t change it now. We have just got to keep our heads down, and I’m sure that whoever plays there will play well.”

Similarly to the Shaymen, Aldershot are currently on their own unbeaten run, having not lost any of their last three games. The results include their victory against the Bees and a 3-0 demolition against Guiseley in the FA Trophy. However, although the last meeting between the two sides finished with a 4-0 win for Halifax, Pearson does not think the result will be the same this time round.

“Like us they are on a run, but we beat them last time. However, we could underestimate them after beating them at home. I hope that we don’t. We’ll go down there and we will do the business and will get the result and get the three points.

“They are three games unbeaten, they will want their games to come quickly to continue their good run. Hopefully, we can put a stop to that and get the result.”

He added: “I think that the game will be difficult. With our away form, we need to have our head on it and put in a good performance to win the game. I think that we need to get it out of our heads now and to not underestimate them after the 4-0 win that we had at home. We need to be focused and get the job done.”

Since the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Tamworth, Aspin’s side have picked up two points and hold the credentials to build yet another impressive unbeaten record. However, Halifax have not won any of their last four games, but this does not worry the England C international.

“We haven’t won, but we have still been picking up the odd points. It is vital to pick up points from the likes of Cambridge. Having drew against Cambridge and Wrexham, I think that it has been a plus for us. Yeah, we do need to get a win soon, but there is no hurry to do so as long as we are still picking up points.”

New recruits Marlon Jackson and Craig Clay both made their home debuts in the 1-1 draw against Cambridge. The players have welcomed them both with open arms, and Pearson believes they are great additions to the squad.

“They are young like me, and in training I have seen them fully committed and wanting to work hard, which we all do. We need people who want to work hard and they have shown exactly that.”

The Recreation ground will host Saturday’s game, with kick-off at 3pm.


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