AFC Fylde manager targets three points to round off a long week

Jim Bentley's first game as Coasters boss was last October's draw at Maidenhead United       Picture: Steve McLellan
Jim Bentley's first game as Coasters boss was last October's draw at Maidenhead United Picture: Steve McLellan

AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley is preparing to expect the unexpected when they meet Maidenhead United tomorrow.

The Magpies have drawn only five times this season, the lowest total in the National League.

One of those came against the Coasters last October with Bentley’s first game in charge of the club.

Fylde go into tomorrow’s game on the back of a 2-2 draw against Eastleigh in midweek, having surrendered a two-goal lead.

While Bentley is pleased with large parts of his side’s game, he wants to see a more merciless streak from his players.

“They’re a bit of an up-and-down side, they’ve had some fantastic results but they’ve also had some poor ones,” Bentley said of their opponents this weekend.

“(Danny) Whitehall, their centre-forward, has got 13 goals this season.

“It was my first game at the club when we went down there and I was impressed with the lad (James) Comley in their midfield.

“They’re a hard-working outfit, they have got good players like every club at the level.

“We’ll do our homework on them like every club and see where their strengths and weaknesses lie but it’s about us.

“We’ve got to make sure we play with the same desire and determination that we are doing, we just need to make sure that we’re a bit more focused and a bit more ruthless.

“That’s the challenge I’m putting to the players, I’d like to see them be a bit more ruthless at both ends of the pitch.

“If we do that, I think we’ll start winning plenty of games never mind one or two.

“We’re not far away, we’re quite pleased with large aspects of our game.

“But it’ll be a tough game. They have the long journey up, they have had a little break since their last game – I don’t think they’ve played for the last two weeks.”

Having played at Dorking Wanderers in the FA Trophy last weekend and then travelled to Eastleigh in midweek, the Coasters have certainly put in the miles this week.

Having been in such an advantageous position against Eastleigh – and looked on course for Fylde’s first win in 10 games in the league – having to settle for just one point hurt the squad.

Should Fylde win at the weekend, the week would look a lot better to Bentley, who thinks his side have got the bit between their teeth following Tuesday’s disappointment.

He said: “We’re back at home, we’ve had a decent week in regards to the FA Trophy – it could have been worse and it could have been better in the league.

“There’s a determination in the players. It felt like a defeat on Tuesday night. Speaking to the players and looking at them, they were all gutted we didn’t come out with three points.

“So there is a determination there that they back that up with three points on Saturday.

“If you say four points from two games, one at home and one away, we would have taken that after the game on Saturday looking at the upcoming games.

“We need a win and this is a good opportunity for us – not to say it’ll be easy but we’re more than capable.”