Fylde boss targets nine wins for title

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor
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AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor reckons nine more victories could be enough to clinch the Vanarama National North League title.

With 16 matches of the season remaining, the Coasters enjoy a nine-point lead over their closest pursuers Kidderminster, who have a game in hand.

Next up is bottom team Altrincham at Mill Farm tomorrow; when the two sides met in the corresponding fixture at the start of the season Fylde beat the Robins 6-0, which started their slide to the league basement.

Challinor said: “I thought before the Alfreton match that we needed 10 more wins – so that was one more chalked off.

“So our next target is to get nine more wins as quickly as possible to see where it takes us.

“It may be that it turns out not to be enough, but we will see and we want to get there.

“But I think that nine is a realistic figure at this stage of the season because teams below us will have a tendency to take points off each other.”

Alty, very much a light of their lofty non-league past, have had a season of toil since their relegation at the end of last season, having registered only one win.

However, the situation did not look so bleak in the early exchanges.

Challinor said: “Altrincham started the season with three 2-2 draws against some of the sides in the top half of the division (Darlington, Halifax and Harrogate) and at that stage you got the impression that they would be one of the teams that would be up there and be challenging at the top.

“But they lost to us and they haven’t seemed to recover after that, though they did get a good result when they drew 1-1 with Brackley on Tuesday night.

“Their position in the table shows how difficult it can be for a side coming down and when you are not winning games it affects confidence and the transition after relegation can be difficult.

“We have had Altrincham watched and they have adopted a number of different systems.

“We need to have a better urgency than we showed against Alfreton when we beat them 2-0 on Tuesday night.”

Challinor is resigned to being without James Hardy for tomorrow’s match.

He has been suffering from a hip injury that is also causing pain in his groin.

The Coasters’ boss is more hopeful about the prospects of Josh Langley (hip) being fit, though at this stage is rated only 50-50 to be in the squad.

He is demanding that his side up their game tomorrow against the struggling visitors.

He said: “We managed to grind out a win against Alfreton, but we need to be a lot, lot better on Saturday.”

In the Premier Division of the North West Counties League, Squires Gate are at home to Winsford United.

AFC Blackpool travel to Widnes in the first division.