AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor wants Nick Haughton to step up for the Coasters

Nick Haughton scored his first goal of the season in midweek''                      Picture: Steve McLellan
Nick Haughton scored his first goal of the season in midweek'' Picture: Steve McLellan

Dave Challinor hopes Nick Haughton’s matchwinning cameo in midweek will be a lightbulb moment for the AFC Fylde star.

The 25-year-old’s first goal of the season helped the Coasters earn a second straight victory on Tuesday night as they came from behind to beat Wrexham 3-2.

With Haughton only managing two goals in 33 appearances last season, Challinor says it is now time for him to realise his full potential.

He said: “It’s ridiculously frustrating. I’ve just said to them in the dressing room that my expectations of the players as individuals can’t be greater than their expectations of themselves.

“They are going to look back at some point and ask themselves why they didn’t fulfil the potential they had.

“That’s not just Nick, a lot of them fall into that category. They’ve got to set the bar as high as it can be and not let those standards drop.

“That’s what I do. Whether I achieve it or not, it’s what I do. But the players have got to do that too.”

Challinor says there is no doubting Haughton’s ability, but believes a player of his ability should score more.

He added: “I thought Nick, in the game at the weekend, was a real bright spark and we’ve talked to him about the areas he gets in and his workrate.

“His workrate at the weekend was phenomenal but he’s got to do that for 90 minutes.

“He had a little cameo on Saturday and he’s had a 45-minute cameo where he did it on Tuesday and he’s controlled the game and got in some really good areas.

“He got shots away and he scored a great goal, which is what he can do. If he did that on a consistent basis he wouldn’t be playing at this level.

“That’s got to be his aim though, doing that on a consistent basis.

“He should, without question, be reaching double figures for goals every season and assists to go alongside that.

“He’s desperate to do that, he works hard at it and he gets frustrated at times, but like all of them really, he’s got to have a bar that is really high and make himself be put in a position where I have to play him.

“If we have 20 players doing that then I’ve got a really tough job but I can also guarantee I will have a successful team.”

Fylde make the trip to Notts County this weekend looking to continue their revival which has seen them win their last two games on the bounce.

Challinor’s men followed up their 3-1 win over Eastleigh with victory on Tuesday.

“I need to see more of this on a Saturday and on a Tuesday because, while I’ve talked about the potential we have, it’s not manifested itself out there on the pitch enough,” the Fylde boss said.

“Sometimes you make changes and they don’t work, sometimes you lose the flow of the game. But we were at a point where we had to roll the dice.

“Bradders (Dan Bradley) was unlucky not to start but we couldn’t risk him.

“He’s been out injured and the data we collect was ridiculously high, which would have put him at a really high risk of breaking down.

“We had the same scenario earlier in the season with Lewis Montrose and he’s been out for four weeks with a thigh injury.

“The difference between him and Lewis is that we had a choice thanks to Tyler Forbes’ clearance coming through.

“When it comes to half-time and you’re behind you obviously look at things, and we thought by changing our shape, Bradders would certainly give us runs beyond to stretch the game.

“He’s got himself two goals in two games and from his perspective they’re probably two of the worst goals of his career but it’s two goals that have culminated in us winning matches.”