Warren Spragg and his Fylde RFC squad reassembled this week to reassess their goals for the season – but the target is still to avoid relegation from National One.
Having overseen an upturn in the bottom club’s fortunes, the year then ended with three successive defeats which have left the Woodlands club four points adrift at the foot of the table.
The 34-9 home defeat by Caldy just before Christmas meant Fylde have only three penalty goals to show for their last two matches, while their negative points difference now exceeds 300.
Head coach Spragg felt it was in the squad’s best interests to take a week off training and return fully focused for Saturday’s visit to London club Old Elthamians, who won 43-7 at the Woodlands early in the campaign.
Spragg said: “At this time of year it is important for the lads to refresh mentally and spend time with families.
“The coaches and players know we are in a difficult place and it it would not be good for team spirit to have them in on Christmas week.
“The week away has given everyone time to refocus and reassess our targets and aspirations for the second half of the season.”
And Spragg confirmed that chief among those targets is still National One survival.
The Caldy defeat meant the coach’s goal of two wins per month was missed for December, though with virtually half the season – 14 games – left to play, Spragg insists there is plenty of time to bridge the gap at the bottom.
He added: “If it was March and we were in the position we are now, then, yes, our fate would be clear but we are still a long way from that point.
“It would only take one month in which we won three games to change the picture completely.
“So the key at this stage is to keep our focus, though everyone has to understand this is a very difficult league to stay in.”
Seventh-placed Old Elthamians were beaten last time out at Bishop’s Stortford but had won their previous three; they have also won five of their last six at home.