BILLERICAY Town captain Richard Halle says a win at title-favourites Margate tomorrow would be “a huge boost for everyone at the club”.
Town were heavily criticised by manager Craig Edwards following their loss to Harrow Borough on Monday and he called for an immediate response this weekend – first at Margate and then at home against rivals East Thurrock United.
Halle, 32, is expected to line-up for Town tomorrow having missed the opening two matches of the season due to suspension, but is anxious to follow up last Saturday’s win on the road at Lewes with another at big-spending Margate.
“Both are tough games but all of them are at this level,” said Halle. “We can only prepare in the right way and know how to take advantage of our strengths and their weaknesses.
“We were fantastic on our travels last season and I am confident we will be this time around too. We know Margate are a good side, but so are we and I think we will surprise a few people down there. They have brought in a lot of players and that isn’t always a good thing, so we will have to see how they adapt.
“A win there would be a huge boost for us to carry through to Monday. East Thurrock is always a tough game and we love that little bit of spice a derby brings. It will be a big one for Nutsy (Stevie Sheehan) against his old side, but we go to Margate first.”
And Halle said he has a job cementing his place in the Billericay starting XI following the signing of Sheehan from East Thurrock – a challenge he is relishing.
“It was hard being suspended but we have strength at the back now with Nutsy and Ryan Scott aiming for two places along with myself. I wouldn’t want it any other way as it pushes us to perform at a better level.
“Dunny (Callum Dunne) was also brilliant when he played at centre-back, but he is the sort of player that can play anywhere and do a job. He keeps reminding me that he didn’t concede when he was at the back as well, so I need to start keeping clean sheets, if selected!”
Town sit mid-table after two wins and two defeats, but Halle says he has total faith in the squad to go on a winning run – dubbing the squad “possibly better than the title-winning side”.
“This could be the best squad I have been with – certainly up there with the title-winning side. We have great strength in depth all over the pitch.
“We are a young squad but we have experienced heads to balance that youthfulness.”
And the skipper is one of those – being made captain by Edwards at the start of last season, a mantle Halle feels he has carried well and helped him develop.
“I was very proud to be made the captain,” he said, “and I thrive off of it in all honesty. I know what is expected of me and I just want to help the team as best I can.”