Fylde’s tough decision to drop Crainey

AFC Fylde's Stephen Crainey
AFC Fylde's Stephen Crainey

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor admits it was a tough decision to leave former Premier League star Stephen Crainey out of the side that beat Corby on Tuesday.

And the former Blackpool left-back may have to settle for a place on the bench tomorrow, when Fylde visit FC United of Manchester in search of a third successive win which could lift them to second in Vanarama National North.

Challinor said: “It’s a tough one because Crains has done well and has been great for us around the dressing room.

“We made the decision to play Adam Sumner at left-back last Saturday, although Crains ended up having to step in at centre-half because Tom Hannigan pulled out in the warm-up. He did a great job and was as professional as have come to expect.

“We felt Adam has been better equipped to deal with the pace of the opposition recently because we have been exploited at times.

“Crains has taken that well and he knows how important he is to us, on and off the pitch. I know he will continue to do his job whenever called upon and he remains a very important member of the squad.”

The midweek win came at a price as two midfielders earned suspensions – Richie Baker was booked twice in stoppage time, while Bohan Dixon picked up his 10th yellow of the season.

Neither ban kicks in for a fortnight but Challinor said: “We will now lose a couple of players to unnecessary suspensions. Players suspended through their own doing will pay for that because I won’t tolerate it.

“If need be, the deadline for registering new players is the end of the month. Whether that’s registering young players or bringing in new players, we need to cover every eventuality at this stage of the season.

“But we needed to win the games and we are delighted to have done. We were fantastic against Boston on Saturday. It was the best we have played for a long time.

“We still have 10 games to go and we have to keep picking up positive results.”

Fylde welcome back Sam Finley after suspension for tomorrow’s match at Broadhurst Park and will assess the fitness of Caspar Hughes after the right-back came off with a groin injury on Tuesday.

And Challinor says tomorrow’s match is one none of his players will want to miss.

He added: “It will be a big crowd, a fantastic atmosphere and a new stadium for us.

“FC United have not had the season they would have liked but it’s tough for them. Teams coming up to this division often do well but FC have a problem in that other teams look forward to going to play at in that atmosphere, so they need to consolidate. That said, they have done well against the other teams in the top five.

“I’m a big believer that if you get your performance right you’ll win more often than not.

“But if we don’t play well tomorrow and come away with a 1-0 win, then I would definitely take it!”

DANIEL AGNEW