We’re holding our nerve, says Fylde boss

Fylde manager Dave Challinor
Fylde manager Dave Challinor
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AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor says his players are holding their nerve as the club approaches the long-cherished goal of automatic promotion to the Vanarama National League.

They are six points clear of their nearest pursuers Kidderminster Harriers with six matches of the season remaining, beginning with a home clash against play-off hopefuls Darlington tomorrow.

A couple of weeks ago that lead was 11 points, but two points out of a possible nine have resulted in that advantage whittled back, with Kiddie having a match in hand.

Asked if the pressure was starting to get at his side with the prize still so near and yet so far from their grasp, the Coasters’ boss provided the sharp riposte: “No, not at all.

“We have an experienced squad of players who have been well used to situations like this in the past.”

However, the 4-1 defeat last Saturday away to Nuneaton Town was a stunner and Challinor said: “It just goes to show that if your attitude is not right on any given day, then you can get caught out.

“The good thing about being a full-time team is that you get the squad together again quickly and go through the match again.”

Asked if the Nuneaton defeat had come as a shock, Challinor said: “Nothing should surprise you in football.

“No-one is going to go through an entire season without losing a game. I am not stupid enough to think we are not going to lose a game but what surprised me was the fact that we didn’t do the basics right.

“We can’t affect what happened at Nuneaton last Saturday, but what we can do is to put it right by going out and win our next match.”

Darlington go into the match on the back of a 1-0 win over Bradford Park Avenue, which enhanced their own promotion prospects.

It was a match watched by Challinor, who saw The Quakers leave it late to secure all three points thanks to a solitary goal by Harvey Saunders 10 minutes from time.

Fylde’s main rivals the Harriers are enjoying a purple patch as they are clearly intent on pressing AFC Fylde every inch of the way.

Their latest win over Harrogate Town registered a landmark; it was their 13th consecutive home win in all competitions, a post-war club record.

However, Challinoris not focussing on Kidderminster. He said: “We are just concentrating on what we do and on trying to win all our remaining games.

“If we achieve that, great.It may not take that to get us promoted.

“I would rather be in the position we are in now and I would not want to swop that with anyone else,” the Coasters’ manager concluded.

nAFC Blackpool are at home to Widnes tomorrow in the first division of the North West Counties League.