AFC Fylde hopeful of Haughton and Davis return at Gloucester

AFC Fylde manager James Rowe hopes to have Nick Haughton and Harry Davis available for tomorrow's return to his former club Gloucester City.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 25th March 2022, 1:34 pm

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AFC Fylde sign Stoke striker Douglas Taylor

Top scorer Haughton sat out Tuesday's 1-0 win at Spennymoor Town, while centre-half Davis was forced off in only the 18th minute as the third-placed Coasters made it 10 points from four National League North games under Rowe.

But as the Fylde boss looks forward to a reunion at the club where he first cut his teeth as a manager, Rowe gave an upbeat assessment on both players.

Chris Neal helped Fylde to back-to-back clean sheets at Spennymoor on Tuesday Picture: STEVE McLELLAN

He told The Gazette: “The physical stats are up 33 per cent so I'm asking a bit more of the players.

“So with Nick it was more a precaution because he felt tight on Monday. You don't want to lose a player like Nick for longer than a few days and he should be okay for Saturday.

“Harry had a slight hamstring and as we got him off as soon as he felt it, but hopefully he will be available too.”

Even without Davis, Fylde managed to record their second clean sheet in four days as new signing Kyle Morrison again impressed in the heart of defence.

Fellow new arrival Will Hatfield made his mark in County Durham, the midfielder scoring the winning goal just hours after his move from Darlington was confirmed.

Rowe made his third signing for Fylde on Thursday with the arrival of striker Douglas Taylor from Stoke City and the manager is delighted with his dealings.

He explained: “From my observations the team have a lot of technical payers and we need to hit the physical boxes as well. Kyle and Will have helped us to do that.

“Kyle has obviously got off to a great start with two clean sheets and it was a dream debut for Will. When you come into a changing room the day before a game and you start, the nerves are going to run through you and you have to build relationships quickly.

It' a credit to him as a professional but I've watched him for two years and I know what he can bring.

“You have to let your technical players play, but if you have 10 outfield players who are all technical and don't want to do the other side then you don't have the right balance to win games of football.

“You need your warriors, which Will is but he's technically sound as well. Kyle has given us that in the back three too.”

Rowe revealed he tried to sign Hatfield for tomorrow's opponents Gloucester, where he was in charge for 12 months before moving on to Chesterfield in November 2020.

Gloucester have moved in the wrong direction since Rowe's departure and he added: “I take the emotion out of the match and we do everything as normal to prepare. We go down on Friday after training and all the players will have their outcomes to achieve.

“If we get another clean sheet, then I'm confident we will score because we have got goals in the team and 13 points out of 15 from that first block of five games would be really good.”

Midfielder Liam Nolan has completed a permanent move from Fylde to National League North rivals AFC Telford United, having joined them on loan in January.

The former Crewe Alexandra and Accrington Stanley played joined the Coasters in October 2020 and made 18 appearances for the club, though he found game-time hard to come by this season after an injury-hit start.