FC Halifax Town v Ebbsfleet United: Chris Millington set to turn to most consistent performers

Halifax Town manager Chris Millington says he will be relying on his dependables after two defensive lapses proved costly at the weekend.

A 2-0 defeat "at home" to Barnet leaves the Shaymen just a one-point cushion in the Conference play-off places going into three games in the final week of the regular season.

They face Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday and Oldham Athletic on Thursday, two games which, like Saturday's, will be played on neutral grounds because The Shay has been rendered unplayable by recent heavy rain and rugby league games.

On Saturday they complete their programme at Eastleigh.

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Victory on Tuesday at Accrington Stanley's Crown Ground will mean Halifax cannot be caught by eighth-placed Southend United or 10th-placed Oldham, who they host at Chesterfield. All the onus would then be on Aldershot Town, now ninth, at sixth-placed Gateshead on Wednesday.

The teams in sixth and seventh go into play-off eliminators away to fifth and fourth next midweek. The semi-finals are on April 28, and the Wembley final on May 4.

It leaves little room for the mistakes seen against Barnet, where both scorers got free at set pieces.

"It was very avoidable and I've got some serious thinking to make sure we don't put ourselves in that position again," said Millington.

DECISIONS: Halifax Town manager Chris MillingtonDECISIONS: Halifax Town manager Chris Millington
DECISIONS: Halifax Town manager Chris Millington
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"It's a young group and one thing we're clear on is they are going to be learning in their time with us.

"But one thing we've also been clear about is we can't accept players repeating the same mistakes over and over.

"Team selection will also be influenced by those players who we know are going to stick to their task and do a very consistent job."

But Millington insists the stage of the season and three-game week have no bearing.

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"The pressure's exactly the same as it was first game of the season,” he argued. "We aren't going to be training, we'll have basic match-prep sessions, there won't be a whole lot to plan for in terms of training sessions because they'll be very, very low intensity.

"It's not unusual for us to play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday so to add one more game is not ideal but it's certainly not going to make the end goal any less achievable."

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