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9 September 2021

Phil Brown heads back to his former club this weekend.

Brown spent three years as a player with Halifax Town from 1985 to 1988 before getting a move to Bolton Wanderers.

But there will be no room for sentiment when he returns to the Shay Stadium to face the Shaymen.

Brown believes a win could kickstart Blues’ season.

"I’m going back to where it all started,” said Brown. "Everybody thinks Hartlepool is the place it all started; yes it’s where I made my debut and played 200 odd games, but my first move south, as it were, was to Halifax Town so I’ve got really fond memories of the place.

"They say once a Shayman, always a Shayman, and that is true. I’ve got fond memories of the area, fond memories of the people and the football club, but I’ll not be fond of them on Saturday that is for sure.

"The ex-player’s association have invited me to the boardroom after the game so it’s nice to know that I’m still regarded in those circumstances, but bottom line is I’m going there simply with one thing in my mind which is to win the game.

"If we win the game it could kickstart our season. We’ve got to get back to that winning way and that has to start on Saturday at Halifax Town.

"A win would see Blues leapfrog their opponents, who have one more point to their tally after four games.

"I’m not going into the game for one minute thinking that Halifax aren’t up there with favouritism," Brown added. "They’ve got a decent squad, the coach is a very innovative coach, he changes system on a regular basis. He’ll throw a back three, a back five or a back four at you and change during the course of a game so we’ve got to be ready for it and prepared."

Despite taking a two-goal lead against Wrexham last time out Blues were pegged back and were disappointed to only come away with a point against the pre-season favourites.

Brown hopes to translate good performances into wins quickly.

"It’s all well and good playing well, and if you do play well for the majority of the season you’ll get your rewards guaranteed, but I think the National League is just another emphasis of football in this country. You don’t just play well and win games of football because the opposition have also got the ability to do that as well.

"We’ve won one of the four [games played]. Is that a good return? Well, I’ve got to say it, I thought we deserved to win against Stockport and I thought we deserved more against Wrexham.

"Being able to win games of football is probably the key to it all and having the mentality of converting opportunities when they come along is going to be key to any kind of success that we have this season.

"I just want that kind of quality week in and week out, and that kind of effort and energy. If we get that on Saturday, I’ll be delighted. If we get the quality as well as that then we’ve got more chance of winning the game than not."

Brown will have to take a late check on Nathan Ralph for this weekend, who came off having suffered a concussion last time out.

"I’ll be guided by the physios, whether I can play Ralphy. I’ll be guided by the PFA and I’ll also be guided by the player.

"I think the player will always want to cross the white line and play football, but if the doctors say we can’t do that then we can’t do that."


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