May 19, 2024
  • May 19, 2024
Halifax Wanderers Daniel Nimick

Nimick Calls On Wanderers To Find Their Way: ‘No Time To Hide Now, It’s Do Or Die’

By on May 3, 2024 0 1686 Views

The Halifax Wanderers have been slow out of the gate following their club-record league finish last season, but things have gone from bad to worse with a shock cup loss to semi-professional visitors CS Saint-Laurent.

Last season also saw the club lose its preliminary round cup match – albeit not to semi-pro opposition – though by this point in league play in 2023 they had tallied three points compared to this year’s flat zero. For sturdy defender Daniel Nimick, the Wanderers are lacking bite, and he’s calling on his teammates to get it back.

The Wanderers Recap: Lost At Sea

“I think in the end it comes down to the fight out there,” opened Daniel Nimick bluntly. “We know they’re not better players than us, they just wanted it more.”

The big defender was one of the east coast side’s brightest sparks on the night: he tried to pump up the team at every opportunity, performing a goal-saving block and converting a penalty to briefly put Halifax in front in the first half. He was a buoy stuck out alone in turbulent water, however, and his efforts could not keep the Wanderers ship afloat.

“You can be as technical as you want, as good a player as you want, but if the other team wants it more than you they’re going to win the game, and that’s what happened.”

Halifax Wanderers Andre Rampersad Ryan Telfer
Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan

The defender says the team has a lot of work to do, but urges perspective to shift to a larger scale: just four games into the season, the club has a lot of runway to recover on. As assistant coach Jorden Feliciano would point out, last year didn’t see Halifax pick up its first win until nine league games in, and they ended up finishing tied for second.

“That’s a positive to take out of it, but we haven’t been good enough up to this point,” adds Nimick. “We’ve got to go back to the drawing board now, work harder than we ever had in training, fix things, and hold guys accountable now. There’s no time to hide now, it’s do or die. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we plan on fixing it.”

Support Northern Tribune On Patreon For Early Access To Feature Articles

One thing the fix won’t involve is a drastic change to how the Wanderers have tried to play under Gheisar: there were glimpses of it in the second half, but not in the dominant all-gas-no-breaks way Patrice had instilled last year, and certainly not in big chance creation. Still, they’re not giving up on that part of their DNA.

“We fully believe in our system, our style, our philosophy, it’s just having the execution,” said Jorden. “Not deflected goals, not PKs, it feels like everything that could go wrong is going wrong right now, and we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve just got to get back to work on Saturday and prepare for the next match which is against Cavalry, which is a very difficult team.”

The result of the shocking cup lost clearly devastated Patrice, who was in a deep state of emotion after the match and was replaced by assistant coach Jorden Feliciano for the post-game presser. The duo had once defeated the Wanderers here whilst with League1 Ontario side Vaughan Azzurri, but the boot being on the other foot was a difficult experience.

“In knockout games there are always going to be waves. We saw set piece goals today, which are obviously small margins that make the big picture in these games,” said the assistant coach. “There are moments where I do feel we had some control of the ball, and then there were moments when there are some erratic play between both teams, and that usually leads to chances on both sides. If you don’t capitalize on yours and you give up others, the result happens the way it did today.”

The Wanderers coach gave credit to their Ligue1 Quebec opposition, who stuck to their game plan and made the best of those ‘small margin’ moments to take the game to penalties, teeing up a tantalizing home-and-away quarter-final against Toronto FC.

See Also: CS-Saint Laurent Gaffer Says Quebec ‘Starving To Prove Itself’ At CPL level

“We were by no means taking this game lightly at all, we knew what this could be, and it worked out that way.”

The club can rest up this week, with its next match not happening until Saturday, May 11 against Cavalry. That’s over a week to prepare, but we’ve sometimes seen that rest begets rust.

“I don’t know if the long layoff is good or bad,” surmised Nimick. “It depends on what we make of it.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *