PETE Wild kept Halifax punching above their weight in the money-laden promotion ranks of the National League.

Now Barrow will be hoping he can produce something similar to keep them away from the relegation clutches of League Two.

After his success in turning the Shaymen into one of the best teams in the Conference, Wild was head-hunted by the Cumbrian club in the summer.

A win percentage approaching 50 per cent from nearly 150 games in charge in three seasons at Halifax has earned Wild plenty of EFL attention.

If it hadn’t been for Mark Hughes unexpected intervention, Wild might even be preparing to take his seat in the away dug-out this weekend.

He was certainly well thought of among the City hierarchy and his name was one of those believed to be under consideration after Derek Adams was sacked in February.

Wild made his mark in Barrow’s thinking when Halifax won 2-1 at Holker Street during the 2019/2020 season – one that would finish with Ian Evatt leading the Bluebirds to the title.

Wild’s Halifax finished sixth in that campaign and improved to fourth last term before going down to Chesterfield in the play-offs.

They had conceded only 11 home goals all season – the second lowest total in the top five tiers. Only Liverpool let in less.

Having failed to agree a new deal with Phil Brown after beating the drop back to the National League by six points, Barrow were keen to appoint someone they felt can consistently beat the odds and Wild was the obvious candidate.

Striker Billy Waters followed him from West Yorkshire and scored on his debut in their eye-catching 3-2 win at Stockport. Bingley-born winger Ben Whitfield was also off the mark against his former club.

Barrow have this week announced the signing of 20-year-old former Manchester City and Southampton forward Benni Smales-Braithwaite after impressing on trial in pre-season.