AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor has urged some supporters not to turn up if they’re not willing to get behind his side.
AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor has told some supporters not to turn up if they’re not willing to get behind his side.
Challinor described some of the shouts from the main stand at Mill Farm during Tuesday night’s 4-2 win against Hartlepool as “a joke”.
The Coasters battled the elements to claim a priceless win in their hunt for promotion from the National League, but Challinor wasn’t completely happy come full -time.
He said: “I’ve never really said anything about our supporters but there were some things shouted from the main stand that, for me, are a joke.
“The supporters – the clue is in the title – if they want to slag the players off, I’d rather give them their season ticket back, their money back and them not turn up again.
“They’re there to get behind the players. I think a couple of them have become a bit too spoilt by the fact this team has been so successful in the past seven years.
“I think there’s a little bit of entitlement among those fans who think we should simply turn up and roll over teams – big football clubs like Hartlepool.
“This is the real world and that’s not the case.
“I’m not one for having a go because in the main the fans have been brilliant – but just back the players.”
Tuesday’s win saw Fylde move up to fourth place in the table, six points adrift of leaders Leyton Orient.
But they now face a two-week break from league matters before visiting the ‘O’s on March 26.
Before then comes a two-legged semi-final against Challinor’s former team Stockport County in the FA Trophy, with Mill Farm staging the opening leg this Saturday.
The Fylde boss added: “That competition is a bonus for us and that’s still the case. Our priority is the league.
“We’ve now got two games where we can move away from the league,
“We’ve got nine league games to go but the focus for us now will be on these next two games.
“We’ve had a unique situation with the conditions against Hartlepool. We’ve now got a situation with a two-legged semi-final, which as a player I experienced a couple of times but as a manager I’ve never experienced it. The players certainly won’t have either.
“It’s a different challenge but it’s one we’re looking forward to it.
“Stockport have a fantastic support and will travel in their numbers, but hopefully our supporters will play a big part as well. We need them to.”
Fylde will be without Dan Bradley for both legs of their semi-final, the midfielder being cup-tied having already featured in the competition for Kidderminster Harriers.
The 27-year-old is also suffering with a calf injury and missed Tuesday’s win, though Challinor is hoping he will recover from in time to face Leyton Orient in east London.
“It’s a little niggle with Bradders,” Challinor said. “Hopefully we’ll get something sorted in the next few days to see what the issue is with him.
“It’s a frustrating one because on examination we can’t find a whole lot wrong, so we’ve got to look further to see where he’s at.
“But he can’t play for two weeks because of the FA Trophy. The Leyton Orient game is the next time he can play.
“Elsewhere, we’re not in bad shape. Luke Burke is doing some running and we’re hoping to speak to Halifax to get James Hardy back prior to Saturday.
“We’re not in bad shape. Everyone is carrying little niggles and knocks because it’s been a long, hard season, but we’ve got plenty to play for, so it should be the case we’re fine to get through the games and carry on.”