Dave Challinor believes today’s opponents Harrogate Town are following a similar path to his AFC Fylde side.
The Coasters travel to Yorkshire this afternoon to face a Harrogate side that are on the same number of points as them, with Fylde only sitting one place above – in fifth – thanks to their superior goal difference.
Despite losing their last two games, it has been a superb season to date for Harrogate who were only promoted from the National League North last season.
Challinor is not at all surprised by their progress, which he compared to Fylde’s own success story last season when they finished in the play-offs having just been promoted.
He told The Gazette: “It was a successful side in the National League North and they kept that squad together while being able to add to it.
“Obviously they’ve had the benefit and advantage of playing on a 3G pitch and they have players in their squad who are experienced enough at this level.
“They’ve also strengthened with good players, so I’m not at all surprised at how well they’re doing this season.
“Their first aim would have been to stay up, but after that it would have been a case of looking towards the play-offs, especially with those two extra places.
“That’s where they’re currently at and they’ll be hoping to keep that going until the end of the season to put themselves in the end of season lottery.
“They’re a good side, they’ve got good players, and I know it’s difficult to predict at the start of the season but I always thought they would do well.
“It’s an important game, there’s a lot of important games at this time of the year.
“It’s a tough place to go and a good team who have started the season really well. It’s obviously a different challenge because of the 3G pitch but we go there with a positive mindset looking to back up a couple of good results with another one.”
One player who will be looking to continue their impressive form in front of goal is midfielder Andy Bond, who has netted three in his last five games.
Challinor added: “He’s getting himself into the right areas and we’re creating chances, but we’ve got to be sticking them away a little bit more if we can. But the positives are we’re still making chances and we’re getting players in there.
“It’s good to spread the goals around. I’d obviously like a couple of others to get one to kickstart them but I’m not too fussed who scores as long as we are scoring and we’re picking up points. That’s all that matters.”