AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor has admitted he’s currently going through his toughest spell of his management career.
The Coasters lost for the eighth time already this season on Tuesday night when they suffered a 3-1 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Chesterfield.
The result, Fylde’s fourth straight defeat, leaves Challinor’s side back inside the bottom four having won just four of their 16 games.
When asked if this run of results marks the toughest spell of his nine-year managerial career, Challinor told The Gazette: “Yes, absolutely.
“We had a run a couple of years ago when we lost some games, but that came on the back of us being top of the league at the time. That’s not the case this season.
“It was an okay start in terms of results but from that point we’ve really struggled.
“You’ve just got to remain positive and keep trying to do the right things, but it’s not the easiest time because you have to keep the players at it, keep them motivated and keep them believing in what we’re doing.
“That becomes more and more difficult when you’re not getting results.
“The sooner we can stop this run, the better for everyone, and hopefully that can be at the weekend.”
Tuesday night’s defeat came in all too familiar circumstances for the Coasters, who simply folded after going a goal down despite making a bright enough start.
“I think, performance-wise, it was two teams who started the game who were struggling for confidence,” Challinor added.
“When the game is like that the first goal is always going to be massively important.
“We had opportunities to get the first goal in the first half but ultimately – once again – we were undone by poor defending by ourselves.
“That killed us and the goals come soon after.
“You’re repeating yourself but the goals were all similar to the ones we’ve been conceding a lot this season.
“I think we have to accept the way things are going at the minute, we’re in a scrap and we need to get out of this run as quickly as we can.
“That has to start on Saturday. Hopefully we can do that but we need to have a good look at things and ultimately make sure things change.”
The midweek defeat means Fylde now hold the unenviable title of conceding the most goals in the National League this season, leaking 32 goals in 16 games.
That, Challinor says, makes it glaringly obvious where improvements need to be made.
“I wouldn’t say there are issues all over the park,” the Fylde boss said.
“You look at it and defensively we’re the worst team in the league and you can see why with the goals we’ve conceded.
“But it’s not a case of us pointing the finger at defenders, I think throughout the team we’ve made mistakes out of possession, we’ve made poor decisions and that’s culminated in the ball ending up in our goal.
“We’re not sensing danger and we’re making poor decisions and it’s fundamental to us losing games.
“Once you get into that sort of spiral, you have to get out of it as quickly as possible.
“We end up putting ourselves under pressure by conceding and that first goal is so important when you’re in a bad run of results.
“We’re judged by them results and they need to improve.”