PHOTO FROM COUNTY TIMES SPORT
With no wins in four games, Holywell Town will hope for a Merry Christmas in the shape of a derby win over Flint Town on December 27.
Manager John Haseldin spoke on his side’s recent form, and how he plans to take down a high flying Flint outfit.
Despite a torrid past month, Haseldin is positive and points to a number of factors contributing to their winless run, including limited options within his squad.
“In all fairness we have only played poorly in 1 of the 4 games and that was away at Ruthin when we let ourselves down. In that run of fixtures we have only had 1 home game and although you want to win every game there’s certainly no disgrace in being narrowly beaten by Caernarfon and Aberystwyth.
The lads have regrouped well and picked up a good point at Penrhyncoch with a number of first team regulars missing and we will look to build on that.”
With a return to Halkyn Road giving the side a boost, John Haseldin can also take motivation from a 2-0 win over Flint earlier in the season at their Y Castell ground.
“We can take confidence from the win at Flint but also we will do well to remember how hard of a game it was, especially coming from a goal down to win. The first 20 minutes Flint could have been out of sight so we will certainly need to start better than we did back in August.”
As local derby, some things go out the window, preparations for the game changes and the desire of the players come into question but Haseldin says nothing changes and the players are up for the task in hand.
“If you can’t get yourself up for a derby then you shouldn’t be playing football, it’s as simple as that.
We won’t change anything in terms of preparation, we have had enough of these big games over the years to cope with the pressure and we will hopefully be ready.”
A topic that has generated attention is whether festive football at this level should be played, with arguments for and against.
“We will train twice a week as normal and also New Years Eve to keep the players ticking over.
Fitness is important especially this time of year with the pitches getting heavy and the players will enjoy themselves over the Xmas period but we trust they will also keep themselves in good condition ready for when the games come round.”
Some players miss out due to suspension at Christmas but plenty of players will return for this fixture.
Jon Rushton has been called back to parent club CQ Nomads. Paul Turner will continue in goal. Returning should be Brady Mcgilloway (illness) Paul D Williams (arm) Gareth Sudlow (1game suspension), Matty Hurdman (Holiday)
With the new year approaching us, the ambition for Holywell is to go one further than their 5th placed finish last season in 2017.
“The aim is to better last seasons 5th place and finish as high up the table as possible and try to better the first round of results. We have lost a bit of ground on the top 2 in recent weeks but will keep going and see if we can reach our targets come the end of the season.”