AFC FYLDE manager Dave Challinor has told his players: “Perform tonight and you will stake a place in my FA Cup team.”
The Coasters are gearing up for a history-making home clash with Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup on Saturday, but before that there is the not inconsiderable matter of a replay at Nantwich tonight in a second round replay in the FA Carlsberg Trophy.
Challinor is keen on progression in both cups as well as the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League and will sending out a full-strength team this evening.
Regardless of the replay, AFC Fylde would have been in action anyway in the league against Matlock, so the tie is not an unexpected extra burden.
Challinor said: “We have a squad where we can rotate a little bit, and players who perform well tonight will give themselves a chance of playing in the FA Cup.
“We didn’t take the tie by the scruff of the neck on Saturday and had good chances of winning it.”
AFC Fylde will be without Brad Barnes for tonight’s replay – he is suspended and will also miss the visit of Accrington, a massive disappointment for the midfielder signed in the close season from Chester.
As far as the Accrington tie is concerned, Challinor is gearing up to pit his wits against whoever is in the Stanley dug-out.
Paul Cook left the Crown Ground last week to join League Two rivals Chesterfield, and Leam Richardson, the former Blackpool full-back, is filling the job on a caretaker basis.
Stanley defeated Bristol Rovers 1-0 on Saturday, and Challinor said: “That result will have done his chances of getting the job (on a permanent basis) no harm.
“Leam has been there a long time, and I don’t envisage many changes in the way that Accrington play.”
The Stanley physio is someone well known to Challinor – it is Les Parry, who was at Tranmere for many years both as physio and later as manager.
Challinor has a long association with Parry from their days together at Prenton Park.
The AFC Fylde boss said: “Les texted me as soon as the draw was made – I still keep in touch with him and he has been a big influence on me.
“He helped me to get back to fitness when I was a player at Tranmere and has helped me when I decided to train as a physio.”
Challinor is now fully qualified in that department.
He said: “I want my future to be as a manager and don’t really want to use my physio training, but it is important to have as many avenues open to you as possible.”
n AFC Fylde have sold more than 400 tickets so far for the tie and are hoping for a sell-out 2,250.
They have sent Accrington 700 tickets, working on the basis that Stanley have 600 season ticket holders and it is a comparatively short trip.
n AFC Blackpool host Ashton Athletic tonight in the North West Counties League.