Be ruthless and punish teams when you can – that’s the message manager Dave Challinor says his AFC Fylde side must take out of this week’s Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy defeat at Clitheroe and into the festive double-header against Chorley.
Striker Kurt Willoughby scored both goals in the Evo-Stik League club’s 2-1 victory over the Coasters, capitalising on a defensive error to score the winner, while Fylde spurned several chances to level the scores.
Challinor said: “Again we’ve made two mistakes that we’ve been punished for. They’ve made a similar number of mistakes and we haven’t punished them as much. Ultimately, if you don’t do that you don’t win.
“You can rant and rave and over-analyse things. We made 11 changes from the weekend and you just want people to go out and make your life difficult in terms of selection.
“Technically we have got good players but when you’re out there, and the pitch and conditions aren’t so great, you have to be effective and functional.
“You have to be able to defend well and put the ball into the right areas, but we didn’t do that enough.
“That’s not the way ideally that we want to play but ultimately football is about getting results and doing whatever it takes to win.”
Challinor handed debuts to new signings Emilio Biyik, Liam Lambert and Joey Faux, while young players Elliot Walsh and Sam Mangan were also given a chance.
The Fylde boss added: “It gives the young lads a bit of a reality check as to where they are at and where they need to be at in their development.
“If you are realistic, this is the sort of level you are going to have to ply your trade as an 18 or 19-year-old, on pitches where there isn’t a great deal of football played. This is where you have to stand out and show you can progress.”
Tuesday’s match was watched by 312 but there could be 10 times that figure for the Coasters’ next game at home to Chorley on Boxing Day.
It’s first v third in National North and a record attendance looks to be guaranteed, with 2,300 tickets already sold.
Challinor said: “It will be great. These are the games that you want to play in. I suppose the message before Tuesday was that what you did in that game would potentially put you in any plans we have for Boxing Day.”
“We have couple of nursing little niggles and we are very hopeful that everyone will be fine and hopefully we’ll have a fully fit squad to pick from.
“It will be a great atmosphere and everyone will look forward to it on-and-off the pitch but ultimately it’s a game that we want to win and we’ll go and do everything we can to make sure we get a positive result.”