Neil Aspin is anticipating another tough test against Eastleigh this Tuesday night as Town look to record their fifth straight league win and steal a march on the visitors and playoff rivals.
Eastleigh will visit The Shay sitting a place above Halifax in 6th after having taken 13 points out of a possible 15 from their last five away games.
After the hard-fought 1-0 over Braintree, Neil Aspin is expecting the game to be another examination of Town’s playoff credentials: “Tuesday will be a tough game, Eastleigh are one of the teams that are trying to get out of the league.
“They’ve spent a lot of money and have got a massive budget and they’re certainly financially geared to push into the Football League.
“But we’re at home and we’re on a good run ourselves, we’ve got to make it difficult for them on Tuesday night.”
The game against Eastleigh will signal the start of a hectic schedule for The Shaymen and is the first of six games they will have to play in 18 days. Three of those games are at home and Aspin says that the pitch is becoming an increasing worry.
“It is a concern the state of the pitch.” He said. “We’ll have to see how it cuts up after the rugby.”
The 49 year-old did admit that the pitch does affect elements of his team selection: “there may be the odd position where I think depending on who it is, I would take the conditions into account.
“Sometimes when you’re watching from the stand you don’t realise how difficult it is, but if you actually walked on the pitch with a ball and passed it between a couple of people, you’ll find it is difficult.”
Aspin also expressed his satisfaction that the team are so close to the playoffs with games in hand over all the teams around them and spoke of the importance of his side maintaining the kind of form they’ve shown in recent weeks.
“You want to be heading into the last couple of months having something to play for and ever since I’ve been at the club we’ve always been challenging at the right end of the table, hopefully that’ll continue to happen.
“I’m pleased at the position we’re in, we’re certainly in the mix and we need to keep picking up points because you never know how many points you’re going to need to get in the playoffs.
“There’s lots of teams challenging and they’ll all fancy their chances because if you can string together three or four wins like the four wins we’ve had, it puts you in a very good position.”
Jamie Jackson came off the bench to score a 91st minute winner against Braintree a week after he was brought on and scored what turned out to the decisive goal in the 3-2 victory over Dover. Aspin had praise for Jackson’s impact and also challenged him to work on having a similar effect when starting games.
“He does tend to be more effective coming off the bench than when he starts and if he could play like he does off the bench for 90 minutes he’d be playing every game.
“He’s a fantastic player to have in the squad, he’s been a really good addition this year and proven to be a match-winner.
“You know that if he comes on, he will do something.”
A win for Halifax on Tuesday would see them leapfrog Eastleigh and go within one place of the playoff spots.
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