Fylde boss Dave Challinor expects tough test from Gateshead
AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor believes Tuesday's opponents Gateshead are where they are in the National League table on merit.
The Coasters welcome Gateshead to Mill Farm on the back of Saturday’s superb 6-0 thrashing of Maidenhead United.The result kept Fylde in sixth place in the table, one position above Gateshead, with only goal difference separating the two sides.Steve Watson’s men, who beat Aldershot Town 3-0 on Saturday, are second in the form table having won five of their last six games in league action.“I expect a tough game.” Challinor told The Gazette. “They’ve obviously had a big turnaround in terms of personnel in the summer and in terms of ownership.“Steve Watson has done a great job in getting a squad together.“I wouldn’t say they have started better than they would have hoped, but it’s probably been a bit of a surprise with how they’ve hit the ground running after making so many changes and having so many younger lads go in there with something to prove.“But they’re where they are on merit and we expect a really tough game.“I expect them to be difficult to break down and in the games we’ve watched they’ve defended in numbers.“They’ve got three at the back which turns into five when they’re defending and they defend the goal really well.“At the other end, the two forwards work their socks off.“We’ve just got to back up what we’ve done and produce another performance that is as positive and has the same quality as we produced on Saturday.“If we do that, we think we’re a threat for most sides but, like most games, it will come down to fine margins.“Can we get that first goal? Can we open the game up?“If we can, we’re confident we will go on and win.”Prior to Saturday’s win at Maidenhead, Fylde had been frustrated with three draws from their last five games.The Coasters have still enjoyed a fine start to the league season, having lost only once which came against high-spending Salford City, who currently sit second in the table.“To have lost one league game out of 17, it’s a great start,” Challinor added.“Wins like Saturday make our previous draws look like good draws.“We’d have loved to have won more games and we probably could have had we finished our chances, but we haven’t.“But to have only lost once in the league is a great return two and a bit months into the new season, so we’re in a great position.“But we’ve got a tough week coming up in terms of opposition but it’s a great chance for us to take some points off teams in and around us.”Fylde, who welcome league leaders Leyton Orient to Mill Farm on Saturday, have no fresh injuries ahead of tonight’s fixture.Challinor said: “We’re okay from Saturday. We have a couple that missed the game on Saturday that are carrying little niggles, but we’re fine from the weekend and there’s nothing extra to add.“We will go into it with the same squad and look to go and put on another good performance.”