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First Team

Cambridge: I Can’t Wait

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Wed 30 Apr 2014
Posted in First Team

Wednesday’s playoff semi-final first leg at home to Cambridge United represents a chance for FC Halifax Town to avenge the 5-1 opening day defeat in front of the BT Sport cameras. Scott McManus, however, says he and his teammates weren’t too bothered about finishing fifth and playing Cambridge: “The reaction amongst the lads would have been the same if we were playing anyone else,” he said. “All three teams on their day are as good as each other on their day, and although Cambridge have been on a bit of a bad run, we won’t underestimate them. They finished second for a reason, so we’ve got to go into it like it’s any other game.”

Town finished fifth in their first season back in the Skrill Conference Premier, and as a result will contest the first leg back at The Shay, which isn’t necessarily the worst thing for Neil Aspin’s men. McManus said: “It’s a slight advantage playing at home because of how much better our home form is than our away. Ultimately, though, we’re just looking to do a job over the two legs of the tie.”

McManus was replaced after 65 minutes of Saturday’s game against Kidderminster to a great reception after being a nigh-on ever-present in the Halifax line-up, having missed just one game all season through suspension. That came, incidentally, against Wednesday’s opponents, but the left-sided player doesn’t have any demons to exorcise: “I was supposed to come off after I took a knock to the knee in that game, but Lois (Maynard) came off injured so I had to carry on. I was slower than the other guy and was struggling to run, and unfortunately I just caught him.”

The opening game of the season for Town, as has been well documented, was the 5-1 defeat after both Danny Lowe and Matt Glennon were dismissed, but as far as the 24-year old is concerned, that’s all ancient history: “I don’t think we’ll even mention the home game to be honest, we’ve grown massively as a team since then over the season, and it will be a much closer game this time round…and I don’t think we’ll have two men sent off!”

Wednesday’s game will be played under lights, and according to McManus, the atmosphere generated by the fans will add to the occasion: “The fans will be massive. I know it’s a Wednesday night but I’m expecting quite a big crowd. When they get behind us there’s no better feeling, and it’s a great place to play football. I love playing night games at The Shay and I’m sure the rest of the boys are the same. I just can’t wait for it, to be honest with you.”

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist