Competition for places in the starting eleven is expected any football club and for defender Dom Collins, life at AFC Fylde is no different.
Despite featuring heavily in the early stages of the season, centre back Collins has had to watch on from the sidelines in recent weeks due to the fantastic form of first-choice pairing Tom Hannigan and Josh Langley.
The 24-year-old admits he has found his lack of involvement recently frustrating, but puts that down to the quality of the Coasters’ squad.
“Any player will be disappointed when they’ve not even managed to make the bench,” said Collins. “But we’ve got a strong squad and I know Tom and Josh are two very, very good centre-halves.
“I have a bit of illness recently so that has hindered me too. It’s frustrating but I think you’ve just got to show the best attitude that you can and I’ve worked hard in training.
“Obviously Josh’s suspension will kick in soon so hopefully I get a chance to show what I can do.”
Coasters defender Langley was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident against Worcester City last weekend following a tangle with City forward Jamie Smith and Collins has sympathised with the situation that his teammate was put in.
“I think the lad provoked him in a way that it would be difficult not to react. Sometimes in the heat of the moment you do things that you regret.
“It was a late tackle on him (Langley) and obviously Josh has had a bad injury this season. He’d already broken his foot from a bad tackle so I think that would have been playing on his mind as well.
“I know Josh is a good lad and he doesn’t really have that side in him. He’s a calm and collected player but their lad has obviously provoked him and the linesman only saw one side and it went against Josh.”
Collins has never been sent off so far in his footballing career and believes he is fortunate that he has never been in such a situation.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have never seen red. I’ve been in similar situations but I’m quite a laid back lad anyway and I’ve never had a serious injury or had to react to a bad tackle or anything like that.”
Reflecting on his own season so far, 24-year-old Collins believes he has been unfortunate with injuries so far including getting a knock during his best run in the team but is eager to get back on the pitch and win back his place.
“I feel like I’ve done well so far. I picked up a knock before the Harrogate game and that kind of set me back a bit. I felt, leading up to the Millwall game and then after the Brackley game, that I was playing at my best.
“After that I picked up a little niggle then got put back in for two games which we lost. Since then, Chall has selected Tom and Josh and we went on a little run from there, but that’s football.
“I think I could have given a lot more if I’d played more regularly but I’ve got a lot more to show and hopefully in the next few weeks I can prove myself even more.”
AFC Fylde face three away games in a row over the next week with trips to Telford, Chorley and Gateshead on the horizon and Collins emphasised the importance of getting back to winning ways as soon as possible.
“They’re all massive games, considering that we got beat against Worcester, we need to bounce back straight away and pick up some wins. These next two games in the league are massive so we have to make sure we get six points from them.
“We need to get the clean sheets back. We’ll always score because we have goalscorers with the like of Rowey (Danny Rowe), Lloydy (Danny Lloyd) and Dion (Charles).
“The Gateshead one will take care of itself. It’s a nice little trip up to the Newcastle area so we’ve got to concentrate on the league and get back to where we belong.”