Jim Bentley prepares for biggest week of season with AFC Fylde
AFC Fylde’s first win under Jim Bentley gives the Coasters the perfect platform for their “biggest week of the season”
The Coasters can then look forward to an equally important FA Cup tie against minnows Kingstonian next weekend, with a spot in the hat for the third round at stake.
The Mill Farm side began their week in ideal fashion, seeing off Dagenham and Redbridge 3-0 on Saturday to pull themselves further away from safety.
Fylde are now 19th in the National League table, four points ahead of Wrexham who occupy the final spot in the bottom four.
“It’s a big week for the club, we wanted to start it positively and we’ve done that. Now we look forward to Tuesday,” Bentley said.
“We’ve spoken about how big this week is, for me it’s the biggest week of the season.
“People talk about the FA Cup, this, that, and the other, but the next game is always the most important.
“I’ve often found in football, that if you get ahead of yourself, you soon get brought back down to earth. Kingstonian is for another day.
“All our energy went into the game against Dagenham at the weekend, we were worthy winners and I was really pleased with it.
“We had numerous opportunities and we looked worthy of our 3-0 lead at half-time. We were well on top.
“I went to watch Wrexham the other night in their FA Cup replay against Rochdale and I thought they were very, very good.
“They were unlucky on the night, they were well-drilled, they’ve got some good players and they’re a big club with a passionate fanbase behind them.
“It will be a tough game for us. But the Dagenham win is a big shot in the arm for us and should give us loads of confidence.
“We’ve now got to be positive heading to Wrexham and try and win that game and then set ourselves up for the big one in the FA Cup on Saturday.”
Mark Yeates notched his first goal of the season in Saturday’s win against Dagenham to open the scoring after just 16 minutes, before two goals in as many minutes before the interval from Jordan Williams and Danny Rowe gave them more breathing space.
The Coasters were also boosted by the return of Lewis Montrose, the midfielder coming off the bench to feature for the first time since August.
It was a welcome return to action for a player Bentley is well aware of.
“I know how good Lewis is, I’ve seen him over the years,” the Fylde boss said.
“I had a little bit of a nibble at him when he’s been at Gillingham, Wycombe and York, but now I’ve got him at the club, we have him and we can see what injuries he’s had.
“It wasn’t just a case of bringing him on to get minutes, we were looking after that clean sheet and he was tailor-made for how the game was going.
“We were attacking, things were breaking down and then they were attacking and the game was becoming too stretched for us.
“So we just brought Lewis on in the middle of the park just to make sure we tightened things up.
“But the positive is that he’s back and we’ve got some minutes into him. He’s training alright and we have to make sure we now manage him right.
“His return is one of many positives for us from this game.”
AFC Fylde have been drawn at home to National League North strugglers Curzon Ashton in the first round of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Decmeber 14.