Williams hopes Saturday isn’t a Bridge too far

Coasters defender Steve Williams has had a fitness battle

Coasters defender Steve Williams has had a fitness battle

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AFC Fylde defender Steve Williams is hoping to be fighting fit for the National League North visit of Stalybridge Celtic to Mill Farm on Saturday

Williams has missed the last five matches with a foot injury but is keen to return for the league leaders as they look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season.

He said: “It’s a problem underneath the base of my foot which is either tendon or ligament damage. I picked it up midway through the first half against Gainsborough.

“It’s just a case of that it’s flared up and I just needed it to settle down so I can do my running and my training without pain. It’s been a bit of a nightmare because it’s probably lasted a bit longer than I anticipated.

“I returned to full training the first time around about two weeks ago and it wasn’t right so it probably was a bit too soon. Over the past week and the back end of last week, I’ve more or less returned to full training and pretty much pain-free.

“It’s been frustrating especially after we’ve had such a good start and as a team we’ve done really well. I’ve been on the scoresheet a lot which is a good thing as a defender but we’re all playing well and so to be out for a month hasn’t been ideal. I’ve kept my fitness along the way so I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and getting a run of games in.”

Williams is desperate for his side to start keeping some clean sheets, adding: “It’s massive that we start keeping the ball out of our own net. I think that the way we play as a team, we command most games so we have a lot of the ball.

“However, the way we play is very attacking which can leave us a bit vulnerable at the back at times. The clean sheets will come. Once you get one, you get two and that’s how they work. We’ve been working on it in training, things like set-pieces and being tighter with marking, things that we’ve been a bit slack on recently.

“Saturday highlighted one or two errors but clean sheets will come. We’ve been on about it all week, focusing on what we need to do. We’ve been training in order for the next game and it’s a home game, but we don’t want to take anything for granted. Stalybridge might be struggling but we need to make sure that we don’t get complacent and set the record straight.”