AFC Fylde boss warns of another tricky test against Solihull

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor
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AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor admits Saturday’s home clash with a rejuvenated Solihull Moors will be far from straightforward.

READ MORE We must do better to keep dream alive says Challinor
AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor admits Saturday’s home clash with a rejuvenated Solihull Moors will be far from straightforward.

The Coasters went to struggling Maidstone United last weekend on the back of four consecutive victories but lost 1-0 and Challinor believes Solihull will provide an equally tough test.

Challinor said: “I fully believe that if Solihull had the team they have now at the start of the season they wouldn’t be in the position they are in.

“It’s a really, really tough league. Perhaps some thought we would just turn up and roll Maidstone over but I knew that wouldn’t be the case. This Saturday will be no different.

“Solihull are virtually safe, so they can come and play. Players are playing for their futures at this stage of the season. They will want to prove themselves to managers and other suitors that may be watching. Hopefully we can bounce back again, as we have done really well this year.”

Challinor defended his decision to take off top scorer Danny Rowe with the Coasters trailing at Maidstone.

He added: “Danny has played a lot of football but we have to maintain our standards. If something isn’t working, I have to make changes.

“I wouldn’t be doing myself or my squad justice if I leave people on the bench when someone out there is struggling to make any headway.

“Last Tuesday at Torquay was a heavy pitch and the role of a lone striker is a very difficult one. He looks leggy and it’s our responsibility to look after him. If we couldn’t win we had to find a way not to lose and we didn’t manage either. We have to put that right.”

Midfielder Sam Finley is doubtful for Saturday after missing the Maidstone match due to illness.

Fylde's fate remains in their own hands although several of their play-off rivals played games in hand on Tuesday evening.

The Coasters slipped a spot to sixth but are sure to finish in the top seven by winning their final two games.

Aldershot jumped three places to third with their win over Gateshead, while Ebbsfleet moved into the final play-off spot with victory at Eastleigh.

Second-placed Tranmere have sealed at least a play-off spot with a win at Dover which kept alive their slim chance of overtaking leaders Macclesfield.