Challinor eyes chance for Coasters to beat the Blues

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor is hoping his side can flourish on their return to league action.
AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor is hoping his side can flourish on their return to league action.

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor is looking to put an indifferent run of league form behind him as the Coasters host Frickley Athletic in the Evo-Stik Premier.

Challinor’s side are without a league win in November but the Fylde boss is hoping victory earlier this week will help revive fortunes at Kellamergh Park.

Fylde currently sit third, six points behind leaders Skelmersdale Unite and will be desperate to up the pressure on the teams ahead of them, having enjoyed a taste of life at the top of the table.

Challinor is pleased to get back to league games but insisted the interlude for cup action came at the right time for the ambitious Coasters - rocked in recent weeks by injuries.

He said: “The cup games came at a decent time, we were low on bodies, low on numbers. We have been trying to get people in, but we just seem to hit a brick wall.

“There’s a long way to go in the season, if we were at the other end and way off then I’d be disappointed.

“We’ve been struck by a lot of bad luck losing players and we only have a small squad so cant lose the amount of players we have.”

Challinor has been striving to bring in reinforcements without success and believes he’s not helped by the outside perception of the club.

“It’s been tough getting people in,” he admitted.

“Clubs think we will pay over the odds and players think they can get more and its pie in the sky.

“Its difficult and we’re trying to get the right players in and we will keep trying.”

It’s forced a strategic re-think for the former Tranmere defender, who is without a number of key men.

Matty Blinkhorn, sidelined with a broken hand, is just one name on a lengthy injury for Challinor.

But he believes the enforced switch could play out in the Coasters’ favour

Challinor said:“We’re struggling in all areas.

“ Normally we play with three forwards but at the moment we don’t have three forwards in the club so we’ve changed the system.

“That can be a blessing as all the other teams knew how we played.

“But losing players of the quality of Matty Blinkhorn will be tough for any team.”

At least there will be a let up in the intense schedule for AFC Fylde, who since the start of the season have regularly had to play twice in a week.

That barrage of midweek games has come to an end Challinor is pleased that he will now be able to have time on the training pitch with fewer fixtures coming up.

“It’s settled down and results should now settle down,” he said.

“We should be able to get a few more players back, and although we wont be playing Tuesdays there will be a lot of hard work at the training ground.”

Frickley Athletic have won just once in their last four outings – a narrow 4-3 win over top of the table Skelmersdale.

The Blues lost their last Evo-Stik Premier game 3-0 to FC United of Manchester.

AFC enjoyed a midweek 4-0 win over Daisy Hill in the second round of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy.