Jim Bentley calls for 'life or death' mentality at AFC Fylde

Players must improve when fingers are pointed at them says Jim Bentley
Players must improve when fingers are pointed at them says Jim Bentley

Jim Bentley has challenged his AFC Fylde players to adopt a “life or death” mentality to pull themselves out of trouble.

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It comes after the Coasters slumped to a 3-2 defeat at home to Torquay United on Saturday, leaving Bentley’s men third from bottom in the National League table.

Fylde, who haven’t won in the league since November, now face a pivotal six-pointer this weekend against the side directly above them in the league table – Chesterfield.

“When fingers are pointed at certain lads, as they have been, they’ve got to take it on the chin and make sure they improve,” Bentley said after Saturday’s defeat.

“They’ve got to defend their goal at all costs because it’s about life or death for me.

“As a group we’ve got to step up to the plate and embrace the challenges that are coming our way.”

Debutant Tom Walker gave Fylde an early lead against Torquay, only for the away side to hit back with goals from Asa Hall and Jamie Reid.

Ben Whitfield extended their lead before Jordan Williams pulled a goal back, but 3-2 is how it remained, leaving Fylde three points adrift of safety. It was an honest performance, it was a competitive performance, but we expect them to be a bit more aggressive,” Bentley added.

“When we speak about small margins, Torquay played the pitch better than us and looked more physical.

“It was only a little bit in certain areas, but when the games are tight, it is the fine margins that make the difference.

“We’re disappointed because we got ourselves into a good lead with a fantastic goal from Tom on his debut.

“We had a bit of bad luck for their first goal because, for me, it was never a corner.

“They’ve put it in and their lad (Hall) wants to get there a little bit more than our player did. After that we were a little bit off it, they get in and score a good goal.

“We kept plugging away and created loads of chances but you need confidence and you need momentum.

“We’ve had the better chances to make it 2-2 but their lad (Whitfield) gets on the end of one at the other end and makes it 3-1. We kept at it, Dan Bradley had a good chance and Nick Haughton had a good chance.

“We got back to 3-2 and huffed and puffed towards the end. They’re an honest group and they’re giving it their all but we came up short in most areas by the odd per cent.”