AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor spoke to Media Officer Ben Yaffe after Tuesday evening’s 3-2 victory over Bamber Bridge.

A 3-2 victory that was a bit close for comfort in the end, what did you make of tonight’s performance?

In the first half we were fantastic, in the second half it was tough with making changes but I wasn’t happy with our second half performance really. We were comfortable at half time due to our performance in the first half and I expected us to kick on and be ruthless but we didn’t and we allowed them back into the game. We should have finished them off in the second half which is what we really lacked. The stuff that happened in the first 15 minutes of the second half set the tempo for the rest of the game and we couldn’t really carry on with our tempo or philosophy which was disappointing. Second half, we were too comfy and didn’t play at the temp we had in the first half but ultimately it’s a win and the lads got their minutes. It could have been at a more important time of the season that we slipped up in the second half but at least it’s happened before the season has started. As pleased as I was with the first half, I was equally as disappointed with the second half.

The first half was very encouraging. You limited Bamber Bridge to just two chances and Fylde’s forward line were impressive too. What do you think changed in the players’ mind-sets going into the second half?

It’s always difficult. We made three changes in the second half with a couple of trialists coming on which upset the flow of the game. Bamber Bridge will feel that they were the better side in the second half but I just think we were nowhere near as good in the second half as we were in the first half and that needs to change. We need to be more ruthless. Last year we got so close to promotion and we can’t let what happened tonight happen during the season if we want to do well. Hopefully the players take what I’ve said to them on board and they learn from it.

Danny Rowe scored a brilliant individual goal in the first half, what have you made of his contributions during pre-season so far?

They’ve all worked hard to be fair. Rowe was our top scorer last season with about thirty goals and we’ve also got Blinks, who was our top scorer two seasons ago coming back to fitness so we’re good in that department. They both know the situation, it’s a battle between them two to see who can get in the team come August 8th and they’ll both be doing everything they can to do that. They want to force us to make a difficult decision and they’re both good professionals. We missed Matty Hughes and Josh Wilson tonight, Brad Barnes has only played one of the pre-season games as well so we’ve got numbers coming back in and we look strong. It would have been pleasing to put in a good performance for 90 minutes but I suppose if you look at the result it’s positive.


A number of trialists played today. Are you looking to sign any of them up and will they get another chance to impress against Nantwich?

I won’t not look at anybody. Squad wise, we aren’t too far away but we may bring in one or two more. There’s still plenty of time left for people to try to get a place in the starting eleven for the first game of the season. Now is the time that we have to fine tune what we have been doing, we have to switch on and look ahead to the start of the season. We now need to start looking to consolidate a solid squad to go into the season.

Was tonight’s starting eleven as close to the strongest eleven that you’ll be looking to start with against Solihull or is there still time for players to come into your thoughts?

We’ve done it over the last few years really where we’ve carried at least a strong sixteen man squad. The lads who end up on the bench will be more than capable of competing for a first team place. Nobody will be guaranteed a spot and we’ll see what happens. We’ve still time to make changes depending on what systems we want to play and we’ve still games left to decide on that. Essentially, if you play well, 99% of the time you keep your place in the side. We’ve got big competition for places and places up for grabs and that’s the only way it can be. The squad know how competitive it can be and everyone knows they need to perform if they’re going to exceed.

The next pre-season game is this Saturday, 26th July against Nantwich Town at The Weaver Stadium. Kick-off is 3pm.