Play-off spot still top priority for AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor ahead of FA Trophy replay with Ramsbottom

Dave Challinor's Fylde side have promotion in their sights
Dave Challinor's Fylde side have promotion in their sights
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Dave Challinor admits his AFC Fylde side have “one eye” on winning the league title but insists their main priority has to be consolidating their place in the play-offs first.

READ MORE: Two own goals as AFC Fylde are frustrated in Maidstone
The Coasters’ 1-1 draw at Maidstone United at the weekend leaves them in fourth place in the National League table, four points off leaders Leyton Orient.

It was a missed opportunity for Fylde to cut the gap at the top, with Orient and title rivals Salford City both dropping points.

But with just six points separating the top six sides, Challinor is well aware there will be plenty of twists and turns in the final 14 games of the campaign.

“The players probably get more disappointed than I do around results from other sides; we can’t affect that,” the Fylde boss said.

“For me they’re just a bonus. I know there will be a certain amount of points we need to get to if we’re going to finish in the play-off positions like we did last year.

“Ultimately we’ve still got five sides at the top end of the table, and from our perspective, it’s about consolidating first and making sure we get into the play-offs. Then if we can do that, it’s about finishing as high up as we can. Can we finish second or third?

“Of course we’ve got one eye on winning the league, we’d be daft not to, but we’re also very aware there’s four other teams doing that. It’s going to be up and down right until the end of the season.

“We’ve still got our destiny in our hands because we play Leyton Orient and Salford away and the other teams have got to play each other and there will be points dropped. But I’m just more concerned about what we do.”

Fylde are back in action tonight as they welcome Ramsbottom United to Mill Farm for their FA Trophy third round replay, with the winners taking on either Barnet or Carshalton Town in the last eight.

Challinor banished any thoughts of tiredness being a factor following Saturday’s game and is expecting to name a strong side.

“Just looking at the stats from this year compared to how we were last year, we’re miles fitter,” he added.

“Maybe anyone who has dropped off on Saturday might be rested on Tuesday as we’ve got other players who can come into the squad.

“We’ve got Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday but if I asked every single one of them if they’d rather be playing or sat out watching, they would all say they’d rather be playing.”