AFC Fylde defender Steve Williams is hoping to be fighting fit for the National League North visit of Stalybridge Celtic to Mill Farm this weekend.

Williams has missed the last five matches with a foot injury but is keen to return for Dave Challinor’s league leaders on Saturday as the Coasters look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season.

Williams said: “It’s a problem underneath the base of my foot which is either tendon or ligament damage. I picked it up midway through the first half against Gainsborough about a month ago.

“It’s just a case of that it’s flared up and I just needed it to settle down so I can do my running and my training without pain. It’s been a bit of a nightmare because it’s probably lasted a bit longer than I would have anticipated.

“I returned to full training the first time around about two weeks ago and it wasn’t right so it probably was a bit too soon. Over the past week and the back end of last week, I’ve more-or-less returned to full training and pretty much pain-free as well.

“It’s been frustrating especially after we’ve had such a good start and as a team we’ve done really well. Personally, I’ve been on the scoresheet a lot which is a good thing as a defender but we’re all playing well and so to be out for a month hasn’t been ideal.

“I’ve kept my fitness along the way so I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and getting a run of games in.”

The Coasters slipped to their first league defeat of the season against Tamworth last time out and Williams is desperate for his side to start keeping some clean sheets.

“It’s massive that we start keeping the ball out of our own net. I think that the way we play as a team, we command most games so we have a lot of the ball. However, the way we play is very attacking which can leave us a bit vulnerable at the back at times.

“The clean sheets will come. Once you get one, you get two and that’s how they work. We’ve been working on it in training, things like set-pieces and being tighter with marking, things that we’ve been a bit slack on recently.

“The main thing is that we are winning games. Obviously, Saturday highlighted one or two errors but clean sheets will come.

“We’ve been on about it all week, focusing on what we need to do. We’ve been training in order for the next game and it’s a home game, but we don’t want to take anything for granted.

“Stalybridge might be struggling but we’re really good at home so we need to make sure that we don’t get complacent and that we set the record straight.”