Play-offs a realistic goal for AFC Fylde says boss Challinor

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor
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AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor admits he has revised his ambitions for the season after smashing through the 50-point barrier on Saturday.

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AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor admits he has revised his ambitions for the season after smashing through the 50-point barrier on Saturday.

The 2-1 victory at Gateshead saw Challinor’s side sneak back into the play-off places with 13 to play in their debut National League campaign.

The Coasters sit just seven points behind leaders Macclesfield but Challinor refuses to set his sights too high just yet.

He said: “At the start of the campaign, our realistic aim for this stage was to be safe and secure for next year.

“We have achieved that and we now have an opportunity to change those ambitions and look up. We have given ourselves a realistic chance of finishing in the play-offs.

“We know it is a big ask and there is still a big challenge ahead but the league title is wide open.

“There is the opportunity for a club to put a run together and earn that title. Any one of a number of clubs could do it and we have proved that we are capable of doing that.

“Realistically, we aren’t aiming for that but we want to win as many games as possible to ensure we keep hold of our place in the play-offs.

“The points required to win the league will be nowhere near as last season. Mid-80s will probably be enough. For us to get that we would have to win 11 games out of 13 and that’s a massive ask.

“In terms of the play-offs, it is difficult to predict how many points teams will need. I don’t want to guess at a number, underestimate and ultimately miss out.

“We have to get as many points as possible. This weekend top play second, third play fifth and fourth play eighth, so if we can take care of our own business (at home to Leyton Orient) then come 5pm on Saturday the table could have a very different complexion.

“We still play Aldershot, Dover and Sutton here, and Wrexham at their place, and a lot of the top clubs are up against each other, but we all play each other twice so it doesn’t make much difference.”

But Challinor isn’t looking further ahead than Leyton Orient and added: “They have had a decent run of late but it is a chance for a first league double and I probably didn’t expect that to be against Leyton Orient!

“To win there earlier in the season was a great result for us – up there with my best results with the club.

“To go to a team that had just been relegated from the Football League and win was huge. The three points came at an important time too.”