After Saturday’s win against Altrincham marked a third consecutive league victory for Aldershot Town, manager Danny Searle spoke ahead of his side’s midweek clash with Halifax Town.
Victories over Wrexham, Maidenhead and Altrincham have helped push the club to twelfth in the table, but Searle insists there is still work to be done to maintain his side’s fine run of form.
Q: Danny, three league wins in a row, we’ll take that going into Tuesday’s game against Halifax?
“Yeah, we’ve been in relatively good form so it’s nice to go to games with that, but it doesn’t mean anything when you’re going against opposition like Halifax.
“They’re also in good form, it becomes irrelevant. It’s about who turns up on the night and who does the right things in the evening. They’re a good side, they’re an effective side, we saw that second half against them this season already here.
“It’s nice to have the wins under our belt but we’ve still got a lot of work to do and we need to take that into tomorrow.”
Q: It’s exactly that, we asked about consistency and form in the league and, to be fair, we are starting to show that, especially in our last three games in the league.
“That’s all league football about – it’s trying to be consistent and keep putting those points on the board which we have been doing recently.
“Long may that continue but as we said, it’s a long trip for us tomorrow. Unfortunately, the travel isn’t exactly what we want it to be because of train times and what not.
“It is what it is but we’ll get up there and like we do every game, we’ll give it our best shot and make sure we try and bring those three points home.”
Q: Like every pre-match, I’ll ask you the same question; What’s the injury latest on the players?
“So, we’re still missing Mitch, George, Rowey and Joe Rabbetts through COVID so they’re not available – they’re still self-isolating. No Finney, no Craig, no Ross, no Kins so that’s about it to be honest.”
Q: That doesn’t matter though because those that came in in the last game, showed they can step up and perform for the occasion.
“We ask a lot of the lads from an intensity perspective every time we train, every time we go out on the pitch.
“We ask a lot and we knew that, within reason, because of the way the season was going to be, that we were going to need the squad. It’s been work, it’s been hard work because you’ve got to keep them happy.
“Especially with a few of the lads, because they’ve not been involved, you’ve got to try and keep them so that when they are ready, they are in the right frame of mind.
“Credit to the lads, I think that’s what we forget sometimes – it’s not easy being a footballer. Everyone assumes that, when they hear you’re a professional footballer, they all think of the glamour of the Premier League.
“Well, it’s not like that at this level and players worry about their mortgages, they worry about everything that’s going on in the world at the minute.
“Contract lengths at this level are not the same so trying to keep them mentally fixated on the end goal is difficult at times. Credit to all the lads at the club, they’ve been spot on.”
Q: One point that has been raised, especially after Saturday’s result, in three of our last few games is that we got those last-minute goals. Does that come from the mentality that you give the players? Or does that come from just pushing to the last minute?
“I’ll take a combination of the two really. We never talk about 90-minute football matches, we talk about 100-minute games.
“We talk about injuries, injury time at both ends of the halves and what not and the way that the games are now, with the amount of substitutions made late to try and waste time etc, we’re talking about the 100-minute mark.
“And we’re still not there in my opinion, but we’re getting there, with that mentality of going and going and going and I think people would agree that we’ve got that mentality and we’re becoming a little bit more ruthless.
“We’re becoming relentless and they’re the key words we use all the time. The ‘three R’s’ that we use are ruthless, relentless and resilient. We talk about those all the time and we’re getting there. It’s never a quick-fix – you can’t just walk out into the dressing room and say ‘come on lads, I want you to be ruthless, relentless and resilience’ and that’s how it works.
“You’ve got to train on it, you’ve got to work on it and the boys are getting there. I think the only game this year where I don’t think we showed a true account of ourselves from an effort perspective was probably here against Solihull.
“I think we were very poor on the night, so as good as they were, it was as bad as I thought we were. But all of the other games, even the ones we’ve lost, we haven’t stopped.
“Even Yeovil away, we weren’t great but we didn’t stop – we kept on going and going and going. That’s a credit to the staff, that’s a credit to the players because we’ve all got a very similar work ethic.”
Q: You spoke about the last time we played Halifax here. It was a game of two halves, I think for the first half we were the better side and then Halifax came out and they were much better. Obviously, you have your preparation for the game, what are you expecting from them?
“They’ve slightly changed their personnel again. As you mentioned earlier, they’re on a good run as well.
“I don’t think they were fantastic in the second half, Halifax, they had a ten minute spell where they scored three really quick goals and it just knocked us for six.
“But look, we’re a little bit different than that as well when you look at the personnel that played in that game and some forced, some unforced.
“I don’t think you can really read too much into it, they’ve had a similar run to us in the sense of some wins, some losses and a few draws thrown in as well.”
Q: I’m assuming you’ll have watched their last game as well?
“Yeah, as I said, I thought they were really good against Solihull and obviously they’ve beat Notts County recently as well.
“We laugh about it all the time, we even joked about it on Saturday about almost recording the same interview and just changing the name because they’re a really good side and a team that have got aspirations of getting in the play-offs again because that’s where they were last season.”
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Watch the full interview on our official YouTube channel HERE.