Jim Bentley hopes AFC Fylde produce a winning start to the New Year

AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley     Picture: Steve McLellan
AFC Fylde manager Jim Bentley Picture: Steve McLellan
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AFC Fylde will be looking to start the New Year on a much brighter note today when they welcome National League leaders Barrow to Mill Farm.

Ian Evatt’s side make the trip to Fylde in the return fixture of the Boxing Day clash, which ended 1-1.

The Coasters followed up that result with a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Stockport County, which left them hovering just one point about the relegation zone.

Fylde boss Jim Bentley doesn’t believe there’s a great difference between his side and table-topping Barrow other than one key area: putting the ball in the back of the net.

“They’ve stuck to their ways which has got them to the top of the table,” Bentley said.

“They have some players who are in form with the likes of John Rooney, Scott Quigley and they’ve got the goals – which is the difference.

“It’s about putting the ball in the back of the net. We’re getting into those areas but are just not taking them, while Barrow are.

“That’s why they’re top of the table and that’s why we’re in a relegation battle at the moment.

“We’ve got to make sure we aspire to be like them and make sure that when opportunities come our way, we take them.

“We’ve got to make sure we remain positive and keep going to get that all-important win to kick us on.

“January is another busy period and it’s a fantastic game to start the New Year off, so hopefully we can win it.

“We expect another tough game like it was when we went there, but I’m sure they’ll be expecting a tough game as well – so we can’t disappoint.”

When asked how to solve Fylde’s wastefulness in front of goal, Bentley added: “All you can do is try and give the lads confidence, show them clips and get them used to hitting the back of the net.

“We’ve got the quality to do it, we’ve just got to make sure we keep plugging away and keep working hard.

“We don’t want to fly off the handle, they’re all human beings and they’re a good, honest group.

“But we can’t ease off it and just accept that we’re missing chances, because the margins aren’t great.

“We’ve played Barrow and Yeovil recently and they’re the top two sides. We created more than enough to win both of those games.”