Jim Bentley aims to build on perfect week at AFC Fylde

It’s time for AFC Fylde to go again after a perfect week, according to boss Jim Bentley.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 6:00 am
Three wins and three clean sheets in eight days for Fylde boss Jim Bentley Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

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Before that 2-0 win at Kingstonian, the Coasters picked up a 3-0 victory over Dagenham and Redbridge and a 1-0 success at Wrexham in the National League.

Looking ahead to the 5.20pm clash with Barnet at the Hive, to be screened live on BT Sport, Bentley hoped his players would carry on where they left off in that outstanding week.

“It’s a big game again. It’s the start of another big week,” said the Coasters boss, whose side welcome Sutton United to Mill Farm on Tuesday.

“I said last week, before the Dagenham game, that it was a massive week for the club, with the two league games and the cup game.

“But it couldn’t have gone any better. Three out of three, three clean sheets, next round of the FA Cup, six points, all positives.

“We start again now. We’ve had a free week and now we have Sutton on Tuesday and then the FA Trophy next weekend (against Curzon Ashton).

“It’s a big week for us again and hopefully we’ll have the same outcome. We’ll certainly give it our all to make sure it is.

“Barnet had a good win last time (beating Ebbsfleet 5-2). They’re a good side, a tricky side.

“They have a lot of players I know from my time in League Two, so it’s definitely a difficult game but I’m sure they’re expecting a difficult game too with the run of form we’re in.

“It’s got the makings of a good game and hopefully it’s one we take something from.

Barnet’s biggest threat will come in the form of Simeon Akinola, who is their top scorer with nine, including a hat-trick against Ebbsfleet.

Bentley has improved the Coasters’ defensive record markedly and wants that to continue.

“I’ve seen Akinola in the past and he’s a decent player in good form,” Bentley noted.

“He’s one of a couple of threats we’re going to have to look out for.

“If we can wrap those players up and implement our own strengths on them, we’ve got players in good form too. Hopefully we can come out on top or certainly keep our unbeaten run going.

“We’ve done well in the defensive department – three clean sheets in a week and five in the last six games.

“We’ve got to try and keep that going. Any team that can keep that goals against column down is going to have a right chance.

“We look like scoring every game and we’re doing well.

“The goals are not just coming from one source – they are being shared around the group.

“Opportunities are coming along and there are different people getting on the end of them.

“The aim of the game is trying to keep the backdoor shut and make sure we’re creating chances at the other end.”

There has been the classic ‘new manager bounce’ since the former Morecambe man’s introduction but Bentley thinks the players must take credit.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” he explained. “There’s a bit of it being a new manager and new ideas, the players being confident and expressing themselves, and – credit where credit’s due – players working hard and practising things. You only get out what you put in.

“The players are working extremely hard and you get your just rewards.

“For 95 per cent of my time here I’ve just spoken positively about them. We’re training well and it’s all going good.

“We just need to make sure we keep that going and keep giving them a platform to go and play.”