AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor believes new signing Laurence Maguire will only get better after his impressive debut in Saturday’s 3-1 victory at Brackley Town.
Maguire, who joined the club from Chesterfield last Friday, was one of three young loan players in a new-look Coasters back four.
Challinor said: “I thought Laurence did really well. He looked really assured in what was a very young back four.
“To be thrown together at the last minute and go to a place like Brackley is very tough. He will only improve with experiences like that.
“He is a ball-playing centre-half and sometimes he will just have to put his foot through it, but that’s something he will learn. That’s not the way he likes to play but it is necessary at times when results are on the line.”
The Coasters have been plagued by injuries and Challinor is keen to have as many players available as possible as he prepares for the run-in.
Midfielder Sam Finley, who has missed the last three months through illness, made a welcome return to the squad at the weekend but the manager admits it could be a while before the Fylde faithful see him back to his best.
Challinor added: “We need players back, especially at this stage of the season. Sam is still a long way from full fitness, but he has given everyone a lift with his enthusiasm and character in the changing room.
“ To have him back around the place is a huge boost and to give him the last five minutes was pleasing. We are not looking to rush him back but giving him a few minutes here and there will help him get closer.
“James Hardy is a massive loss for us and he may still be a little way off, as is Josh Langley, but Dom Collins has been back training this week, so the situation is slowly improving.
“We have less than 10 weeks to go and the more players we have available the better.”
Challinor was also full of praise for the FA Cup exploits of shock quarter-finalists Lincoln City and joked that his approach to the National League leaders over the availability of players may not bear fruit.
“It’s fantastic to see a fellow non-league club making a name for themselves on the big stage,” he said. “Danny Cowley has done a fantastic job this season. We speak from time to time and he has asked for my opinion on players.
“They will play Arsenal in the quarter-finals and you just hope for their sake it doesn’t take its toll on their league form.
“They are in a great position in the league and still in two cups, so hopefully the games don’t catch up with them. They have a big draw and good luck to them.
“We had actually enquired about getting a couple of players on loan, but with the number of games they have coming up I don’t think that’s very likely now!”