AFC Fylde boss ready for Sutton challenge

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor believes today's opponents Sutton United still have an outside chance of winning the National League title.

Saturday, 7th April 2018, 8:30 am
Dave Challinor

Sutton have enjoyed a fine season and currently find themselves in second, although they are nine points behind leaders Macclesfield Town.

With six games still left to play, compared to Macclesfield’s five, Challinor insists Paul Doswell’s side are still in with a shout.

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He said: “Although Paul has dismissed their chances of catching Macclesfield, I still think they have an opportunity.

“They’re a strong, physical side and have plenty of experienced players at this level.

“They’ve challenged for a few years so I expect a really tough game.

“It was difficult down there where they were more than worthy winners. We had a go for the last 20 minutes or so but we lost it 2-1.

“They’re the second best team in the league so we know it’s going to be tough.

“But we have our agenda of what we need to do and where we need to be, so it’s really a siege mentality from us and we won’t allow teams to stand in the way.

“They’re more comfortable at home on their 3G but it will be a different game on the grass. But it’s a tough game regardless of the surface you play on.

“We just need to make sure we back up a really good weekend with another three points on Saturday.”

The Coasters are in a healthy position heading into this afternoon’s fixture at Mill Farm as they are likely to be boosted by the return of full-back Zaine Francis-Angol.

As things stand, Fylde sit seventh in the league table, just one point ahead of Dover Athletic.

Challinor’s men will be looking to pick up another vital three points to keep them in the play-off places.

He added: “We think we will have Zaine back for the weekend, he missed Tuesday night with a slight back strain.

“We’re hoping for some good news with him and hope he will be available for the weekend.

“Ultimately we need everybody fit. That gives us problems in terms of selections but ultimately they’re good problems.

“The group is in a good place and everybody wants the best for each other. If we’re going to achieve anything this season, everybody will have played their part in it whether they’re in the starting 11 or whether they’re part of the squad.”

After today’s clash against Sutton, Fylde make the long trip to the Devon coast to face Torquay United on Tuesday night.