AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley is encouraged by their form ahead of FA Cup tie at Kingstonian

Friday, 29th November 2019, 6:00 am
AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley has applauded his players for their recent results Picture: Steve McLellan

Having dispatched Dagenham and Redbridge 3-0 last weekend, the Coasters made it back-to-back wins by seeing off Wrexham on Tuesday.

Danny Philliskirk’s goal proved the difference, moving Bentley’s players up to 18th in the National League table, five points clear of the bottom four.

A month after his move to Mill Farm, the former Morecambe boss has overseen a run of one defeat in six league and cup matches.

While some might feel the Coasters’ squad should not be at the wrong end of the table, Bentley does not share that particular opinion.

He said: “At the end of the day, we’re down there and we have to respect the league. It’s a competitive league and there are some good sides.

“I’m learning all the time and, for whatever reason, we’re at the wrong end of the table.

“You can’t do any more than get six points (in the last two games). When I came into the job, people were saying there is still time to get in the play-offs.

“The short-term aim is to get as clear as we can from the relegation zone, so it’s a game-by-game process.

“The more distance we put to the bottom four ultimately gives you a chance to get closer to the top positions.

“We’ll keep evaluating where we’re at. We’ve closed the gap a little bit on the teams ahead of us but it’s all about the next game.

“You can’t look too far ahead but, if you get a run going, you never know what happens in football.

“We do want to be at the top end of the table – that’s what the club’s geared up to be and that’s why we came to the club.

“The first aim is to put daylight between us and the bottom four.”

Bentley’s first month in charge has seen the Coasters claim eight points from five matches.

The wins over Dagenham and Wrexham followed on from draws with Maidenhead United and Dover Athletic, as well as a 3-1 defeat at Solihull Moors.

While two wins and two draws represents a tidy return, the Fylde boss believes it could have been more.

He said: “It’s not perfect but I still believe we deserved more points if I’m being perfectly honest.

“We were the better side at Maidenhead and I thought we were the better side against Dover, with Jordan Williams’ chance.

“I study every game for three or four hours and I feel we deserved more from those two games and a draw at Solihull. It’s going well and there’s plenty to build on.

“There’s also lots of work to be done but the morale is good and the lads are giving it their all.

“The statistics, with regard to distance covered, is reflecting well on the players and that’s credit to them.

“We’re playing some nice football, creating chances, and on the other hand we’re putting our bodies on the line.

“At the moment it’s all going well but I’ve learned from football that it’s all about the next interaction, and making sure we continue to churn out the points or get in the next round and keep working hard.

“We have to make sure we keep our foot on the gas and stay level-headed.

“Kingstonian will be waiting to try to get themselves in the next round, so we have to guard against that and make sure we’re professional.

“We need to keep doing what we’re doing, which is getting the results that have put us on the little run we’re on. We can’t think we’re going to rock up and win because they are a couple of leagues below us.”