AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor admits the midweek trip to Lowestoft Town is far from ideal as he leads his side to Suffolk in a bid to close the gap at the top of National League North.
The Coasters make the 600-mile round trip knowing that victory over the basement club tonight would cut Solihull Moors’ lead at the top of the table to four points and could leave Fylde as their closest challengers.
Challinor’s troops moved up to third with Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Gloucester City and the boss is desperate for another three points against the Trawler Boys.
“It’s obviously not ideal for us,” said Challinor. “But with the FA Trophy causing the original Saturday fixture at Lowestoft to be postponed a month ago, we don’t have much choice but to get on with it.
“We have to make sure that we go there and do a professional job because ultimately it’s a game we need to win.
“It’s a chance for us to make the most of our game in hand on Solihull Moors and close the gap at the top. Three points would be massive for us.
“Lowestoft may be bottom but they have a few games in hand on the teams just above them, so they have plenty to play for too.
“We needed a last-minute goal to beat them at our place this season and we are expecting another tough game this time around.”
The Coasters gave themselves every chance of completing a double over Lowestoft by driving down yesterday. Challinor added: “The trip itself provides its own difficulties and Lowestoft will not make it any easier for us.
“They are scrapping for their lives and have had a bit of a break (Lowestoft haven’t played this month), so they will be well rested. We can only focus on ourselves and do our utmost to get a positive result.
“These trips are particularly difficult for part-time clubs because our lads have had to take Tuesday off work.
“They will be back in work tomorrow on Wednesday, even though we won’t get back home until the early hours of the morning.
“However, staying over the night before and preparing properly is pivotal to us getting a result. The last thing you want to be doing is travelling six hours on a coach on the day of a game.
“It’s part and parcel of the game and thankfully we don’t have too many trips like that to contend with.”
Saturday’s victory followed back-to-back defeats in the league (at Chorley) and FA Trophy (Gateshead), and Challinor wants a winning run to follow.
He explained: “We have 15 games left and to get to last season’s points total we need to win 11 of those, so it’s vital we put a run together now and build on Saturday’s victory.
“We have virtually a full squad to pick from, bar Josh Langley who is serving the final game of his three-match suspension.
“We might make the odd change but the line-up is likely to be very similar to the weekend’s.”