AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor has been boosted by the news that two of his injured stars could return for the season run in.

Club captain Josh Langley and midfielder James Hardy have both spent time on the sidelines with groin problems recently and Challinor hopes to see the duo  back in action in the not too distant future.

Langley underwent surgery earlier in the week and could make his first team return before the end of the month.

Challinor said: “Josh’s surgery went very well and was done within ten minutes and now he will go straight into his rehab. He can get back on a bike now and should be ready to play within four weeks.

“So it’s good news regarding his situation and he will be a welcome return to the squad for the run-in.

“James did a bit of running on an assisted treadmill earlier in the week and got to 80 per cent of his bodyweight and was fine. The plan for James is for him to have another spell on there with the hopes of getting him back on the grass early next week and then we will see where he is for next weekend.”

Despite leading the National League North table by 11 points with just ten games to play, Challinor is refusing to get carried away.

“Are we home and dry – far from it. We have had a few bonuses recently with other results – Brackley had a convincing win in the week which keeps them in the play-off race and that’s what we want. The more teams battling out with each other and beating each other, the better.

“The results at the weekend probably mean we might only need five wins rather than six but we still want to get as many points as possible. We targeted around 87 points and that hasn’t changed. Six wins would take us past that so it’s still just about picking up positive results until the end.

“I will be much happier when we get to that total and we want to do that as quickly as possible.

“If it doesn’t take that many then it makes our lives easier but there is always a possibility that a team will put together a run from now.

“Every game is tough because pretty much every club still has something to play for. Even the ones that haven’t still have pride to play for and everyone wants to beat the team at the top.”

The Coasters travel to Gainsborough Trinity this afternoon and Challinor admits he will not be taking the relegation-threatened side lightly.

“As ever we are expecting a tough game and the pitch won’t be great. A new manager has come in and they have made quite a few changes in terms of personnel.

“They have also tried out a couple of different systems so we don’t know exactly what to expect. But we will be concentrating more on what we do. We have to go there and grind out a win.” 

“Gainsborough are fighting for their lives. Other teams around them are losing too which is keeping them away from the relegation zone but they will certainly want to win the game.

“They have everything to gain and nothing to lose from the game and we are the opposite. If we don’t perform then we won’t win so we have to be on our game.”