AFC Fylde boss backs Rowe to top the scoring charts

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor has backed Danny Rowe to hit the 30-goal mark this term but warned goals do not always equal success.

Friday, 16th March 2018, 1:00 pm
Danny Rowe scored a hat-trick last weekend Picture: Steve McLellan

Fylde are two points off the play-offs going into Saturday’s clash with Hartlepool United at Mill Farm.

And they go into the National League clash on a high after a 7-1 thrashing of Aldershot last time out.

Sam Finley scored a double in that game and will now not be available for the next three games, having been sent off last Saturday.

As Finley has seen red on more than one occasion this season, his suspension has been increased as a result.

Rowe, however, who made it 22 in the league and 28 in all competitions with a hat-trick last weekend is raring to go.

Challinor hopes he lifts the golden boot for the division – but does so having fired Fylde into the play-offs with nine games to go.

Speaking on Rowe’s chances of finishing top scorer, he said: “You’d hope so, he is five clear now; from my perspective I just hope he keeps scoring goals between now and the end of the season.

“For me it does not matter how he gets them, I’m sure he’s got his own personal milestones that he’d like to get past.

“We’ve got nine games to go and I’m sure he will be targeting 30 league goals which would be a great achievement.

“Ultimately it comes on the back of us winning games, creating opportunities and he is there to stick the ball away.”

Though Challinor knows goals do not always guarantee success with his side the top scorers in the division but two points off the top seven.

He said: “It is a strange one, we looked at goals scored over the past six or seven years that have got teams in the play-offs and things.

“We are the top scorers in the league; it does not always guarantee you success and three seasons ago we scored the most, conceded the least and still did not get promoted.

“Football can be a funny thing.

“We have just got to make sure we keep creating opportunities, score as many as we can and hopefully that will get us into those play-offs.

“We are confident (about getting in the play-offs).

“We know it is still a big ask, regardless it is a big ask for everyone else.

“There are people in better positions than us and we have got to keep playing catch up.

“I think if we can win six of our nine games we would be unlucky to not get in there.

“If it is more than that or we get in with a little less we are not going to moan but that is where I think we will need to be and if we can get there and it is not to be then that is the case.”

While Fylde are battling at the top end of the division Hartlepool are battling off the pitch dramas and for their National League status.

Pools are just three points off the drop zone and Challinor is not underestimating them.

He said: “Hartlepool will be another tough challenge.

“They play a different system to what we have played against recently.

“We will work hard this week about putting things into place or getting used to counter act that but it is getting used to what we do.

“We know that we go into the game trying to win and trying to reproduce performances like we did last weekend. If we do that we are more than a match for anyone in the division.

“We will focus on us but give our lot an understanding of stuff they will see at the weekend and hopefully it will be enough to go on and win the game.”