AFC Fylde attracted their highest home gate of the season against Salford City on Tuesday and manager Dave Challinor is hopeful those who turned out won’t be put off by their defeat.
There were 2,941 fans in attendance at Mill Farm as the Coasters suffered a 2-0 defeat, their first loss of the new National League season.
Challinor, whose side travel to Eastleigh today, hopes the high crowd wasn’t just a one-off to see promotion favourites Salford, who are owned by the likes of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
“It was amazing,” he said. “But although it’s a positive, it’s still disappointing that we didn’t perform to our best.
“But we came up against a really good team, so to get that many in on a Tuesday is fantastic.
“Hopefully people will come back and it’s not a one-off. We know where we are in terms of most of our attendances.
“Obviously it coincided with no other games being on in any other leagues and there was certainly local interest in ourselves and those who wanted to see what Salford were like.
“But it was great to see a boost in numbers and it made for a great atmosphere. It was just a shame we couldn’t put on a better show.”
Despite splashing the cash during the summer, Salford remain below Fylde in the league table.
But Challinor is confident Graham Alexander’s men will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
He added: “I think they were always going to get better and it was going to take time to adapt a little bit.
“But you only need to look at the strength of their squad and see what players they’re able to bring in. They’re very, very strong.
“We made changes at half-time in terms of our system but they caused us problems with how they lined up and the spaces they got into.
“It’s always difficult potentially making changes after 15 minutes or so, but looking back now you could see the signs of what was happening. Ideally I would have changed it quicker. But you learn from it and move on.
“Their second goal came at a time when we were having our best spell. We were always in control and the game was beginning to open up.”
The Coasters boast a fully fit squad for today’s game but they will have to do without Danny Kane and Zaine Francis-Angol, who are away on international duty.
Challinor is also hopeful Danny Philliskirk will be available for selection after the forward made his return off the bench on Tuesday.