AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor says Sam Finley’s three-game suspension will give someone else the chance to stake a claim for the play-off charge.
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Midfielder Finley picked up his third red card of the season in Saturday’s 7-1 win over Aldershot at Mill Farm.
Finley picked up a second yellow for celebrating his second goal by cupping his ear to goad opposition fans.
Challinor felt the decision was harsh but the manager can take a positive view because he has plenty of players fighting for Finley’s shirt going into the final nine games of the season.
The Coasters go into Saturday’s home clash with struggling Hartlepool two points outside the top seven and Challinor said: “I’m pretty sure Sam will miss three games because the cards accumulate.
“The positive is that we are in a good place in terms of squad size and squad fitness, and we have plenty of quality to step in there. Someone else will have a chance to stake their claim until the end of the season.”
A number of players auditioned for a Saturday role, including debutant loanee Jordan Flores from Wigan, in this week’s Lancashire FA Senior Cup semi-final defeat at Fleetwood Town.
Challinor said no-one stood out and he still has a decision to make over Finley’s replacement.
He added: “It was a typical development game. Was the result the be all and end all? Absolutely not – it was a game for us and you hoped some of them would stand out and make you unable not to play them at the weekend.
“It will do Jordan the world of good. He has only done 30 minutes since he has come back, so for him to do 60 minutes is great.
“Across the board they have done OK but nobody has really grabbed it and said, ‘I need to be playing’. On the whole I’m happy with how it went.
“From my perspective, I’ve got to make one change for the weekend, so we will see where we are at.
“Ultimately that game showed that a lot of those players needed the game and will benefit from it.
“We will have a chat, see where we are at and then we’ll make a decision for the weekend.”