Dave Challinor insists he isn’t unduly concerned by AFC Fylde’s uncharacteristic struggle to score goals – not least because his side has done such a good job of tightening up at the back.
READ MORE: We didn't deserve to win admits Fylde boss Challinor
This Saturday’s opponents Aldershot conceded seven on their last visit to Mill Farm but the formbook suggests such a goal feast is unlikely this time.
Fylde have failed to score in four of their last five matches and have already played out four goalless draws this season, most recently at Eastleigh last weekend.
The flipside is that Fylde still occupy a play-off spot and have lost only one of their first 10 National League fixtures thanks to a mean defence.
Only Wrexham (four goals against) have conceded fewer than the Coasters (six).
Challinor admits there is a balance to be struck.
He said: “If you look at the number of points we had at the same stage last season and the goals conceded, you will see we have improved.
“But over 52 games last season we failed to score on nine occasions. We’ve already had five games in which we haven’t scored this season.
“Is it concerning? It would be if we were also conceding because then we would be losing games.
“I think it’s about finding that balance. At this stage last year we couldn’t keep the ball out of our own net. Well, we’ve now gone the other way and sometimes that’s how football works. Ultimately it’s about winning and I’ll take a 5-4 as much as a 1-0.”
Challinor sees various reasons for this season’s lower-scoring fixtures, including Fylde’s own recruitment and the approach of opposing team.
He added: “In my time here we have always been a high-scoring side.
“If I was the manager of an opposition team now, I would look to be more pragmatic and cautious against Fylde, which means we’ve got to be better.
“We’ve worked hard defensively but in fairness the lads we’ve brought in have helped that. In terms of our set-up we’ve been no different.
“We’ve been brilliant defensively and we are still missing one of our most influential players in Lewis Montrose.
“He has not yet kicked a ball this season but he will be key for us.
“At one end of the pitch individuals have improved us, whereas at the attacking end, we have a different type of player and have not been as free-scoring.
“We’ve got to be better in terms of creativity, but at the moment, we’ve not been massively fluent in the final third.”