AFC Fylde boss expects struggling Shots to improve soon

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor     Picture: Steve McLellan
AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor Picture: Steve McLellan

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor is expecting today’s opponents, Aldershot Town, to fly up the table soon.

Gary Waddock’s men finished in fifth position in the National League last season, two points ahead of the Coasters.

But, like Fylde, the Shots were knocked out of the play-offs at the quarter-final stage – going down to a penalty shootout defeat against Ebbsfleet Town.

Having lost a number of key players during the summer, they have since endured a difficult start to the new season.

Ten games in, they find themselves 18th in the table and just two points ahead of the relegation zone.

They have also only won just three league games this season, all of them coming at home.

However, they were victorious last time out as they came from behind to get the better of Bromley 3-2.

Challinor believes that result could be what is needed to kickstart their season as they travel to Mill Farm today.

“They haven’t started great,” he told The Gazette.

“But, quite similar to ourselves, they’ve had a big turnaround in terms of staffing and in terms of players.

“They’ve probably had a bit of a bigger hangover, if you like, by reaching the same stage as us in the play-offs last season.

“They’ve not started as well as people might have expected but ultimately, in the last two years, they’ve been in the play-offs and I expect them to improve.

“Regardless of league positions we expect a tough game because they’ve got players who are used to this level and are proven at this level.

“They’ve also got a manager who has been there for a while, is very experienced, and is a very good manager at this level.

“People will look at it and think they’ve not won away from home during the start to the season but you only have to look at their result last week.

“They were 1-0 up but went 2-1 down just before half-time. If it was a team really struggling, you’d think they would potentially go on to lose the game. But they dug in and went on to win 3-2.

“So we expect a really tough game and like any game at this level, if you’re not at your best then you won’t win.

“It’s very fine margins within the league. It doesn’t take an awful lot of difference in terms of performance for results to change. They are decided by the finest details.

“We know that we’ve got our own objectives and our own things to worry about. We know we’ve got to be good to win and hopefully we can do that.”