AFC Fylde’s top scorer Danny Rowe admits his side have a mountain to climb if they are to catch National League North table-toppers Solihull Moors.
Both clubs were beaten this weekend but Moors are still 10 points clear of the Coasters going into the final two months of the season.
Fylde can close that gap tonight, when they play their game in hand away to promotion rivals Nuneaton Town (7.45pm), but their first priority is to regain their place in the play-off zone after slipping to sixth place with Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Alfreton.
Fylde have almost a third of their league games to squeeze into the final nine weeks of the campaign, but with only one automatic promotion place to play for, Rowe knows the Coasters need to start a winning run quickly after losing four of their last six.
He said: “I thought we were very good in the first half against Alfreton and we only went behind because of a silly mistake.
“It was disappointing because we were on the front foot and we were the better side.
“Sam (Finley) hit the bar twice but we probably lacked a clinical nature in the final third.
“Although we were on top, we didn’t create enough chances and that speak volumes at the moment.
“We really dropped off in the second half and we never really looked like getting back into the match. We haven’t been as free-scoring as we were last season, when goals came from all over the pitch.
“It has been more stop-start this season. We had a good run earlier in the campaign but we have lacked any real consistency throughout the season.
Victory tonight could elevate Fylde to third, though Rowe admits top spot looks a long way off at present.
“It would have been difficult to catch up with the league leaders before Saturday’s game and it’s even more difficult now,” he said.
“But promotion is still our aim and we just have to hope other results go our way.
“We would need Solihull to drop a lot of points, so I think we would be happy with a place in the play-offs now.
“I think we deserve our spot in there and I can’t see four other teams taking those places over us.
“We have a busy spell now and that gives us a chance to pick up lots of points in a short space of time.
“However, it’s one thing saying that there are points up for grabs, but we have lost back-to-back games and if we carry on like that we could fall further behind.
“We desperately need to start winning games consistently to make sure we are in those top positions at the end of the season.”
Rowe has enjoyed a sensational goal return this season, with 27 in all competitions, but he confessed his frustration at a lack of service during the Coasters’ current sticky patch.
“I think my personal form recently has been very similar to the team as a whole – very up and down,” he said.
“My position relies a lot on the service I get. I have scored quite a few this season but when things aren’t going your way, like against Alfreton, you don’t get as much service.
“I think I’ve had a good season up to now but I’m disappointed after every game I don’t score in or the team don’t win.
“Hopefully I can get back among the goals at Nuneaton. It’s a must-win game for us.
“I’d like to think I’ll score and I’d like to think we’ll win, but we will need to do something different from the weekend.”
However, Nuneaton are in fine form, having climbed into the top five by taking seven points out of nine last month. They were 3-1 winners at Corby on Saturday.