Halifax Town substitutes could have big role as Chris Millington prepares for FA Trophy final

Halifax Town manager Chris Millington faces some difficult decisions on Friday as he picks his FA Trophy final squad but those who have to make do with a place on Sunday’s bench will be told they as important as the starters.

The Wembley pitch and the whole experience of finals there can drain minds and bodies, so against an injury-hit Gateshead, the Shaymen's habit of going the distance could be decisive.

Three times they have won penalty shoot-outs and three times they have scored in the final five minutes of regulation time.

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"There's one or two little niggles which we'll work through on Friday before we confirm the travelling squad," says Millington. "We believe we've got enough available to win the game if we approach it the right way.

DECISIONS: Halifax Town manager Chris MillingtonDECISIONS: Halifax Town manager Chris Millington
DECISIONS: Halifax Town manager Chris Millington

"I won't name names but there are a number of lads who will be involved on Sunday who have gone into games they would have been well within their rights to duck – pressure games like Wealdstone at home, York City at home. They stepped forward and made themselves available.

"There will be one or two bumps and knocks but they'll be in a really good frame of mind to be able to perform on Sunday."

But there will be no thank you appearances under the arch.

"It's about winning the game and that's the best reward for everybody involved," he insists.

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"It's vitally important we pick the right starting XI but it's even more important the team we finish the game with is correct.

"My message to the players will be everybody will have a vital part in the wider process.

"We'll prepare the lads in terms of hydration and nutrition and on the day it's about making sure as a staff we're attuned to who might be feeling the effects and who might be able to push through any negative effects."

The game kicks off at 4.15pm and is live on BT.

Tickets for Non-League Finals Day, which also includes the FA Vase game between holders Newport Pagnell Town and Ascot United, are available here.