AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor believes new boy Laurence Maguire will only get better after making an impressive debut in the 3-1 victory at Brackley Town at the weekend.
Maguire, who joined the club from Chesterfield last week, was part of a new-look Coasters back four on Saturday that included three young loan players and Challinor was delighted with how his new man performed.
“I thought Laurence did really well,” said Challinor. “He looked really assured in what was a very young back four. To be thrown together at the last minute and go to a place like Brackley is very tough and he will only improve with experiences like that.
“He is a ball playing centre-half and sometimes there will be situations where he just has to put his foot through it, but that’s something he will learn as he develops.
“That’s not the way he likes to play but it is necessary at times when results are on the line.”
The Coasters have been plagued by injuries over recent weeks and Challinor is keen to have as many of his squad available as he prepares for a tense run in.
Midfielder Sam Finley, who has missed the last three months through illness, made a welcome return to the squad at the weekend, but the manager admits it could be a while before the Fylde faithful see him back to his best.
“We need players back, especially at this stage of the season.
“Sam is still a long way from full fitness, but he has given everyone a lift with his enthusiasm and character in the changing room. To have him back around the place is a huge boost and to give him the last five minutes was pleasing. We are not looking to rush him back but giving him a few minutes here and there will help him get closer.
“James Hardy is a massive loss for us and he may still be a little way off, as is Josh Langley, but Dom Collins has been back in training this week so the situation is slowly improving.
“We have less than ten weeks to go in the season and the more players we have available the better.”
Meanwhile, Challinor was also full of praise for Lincoln City after their FA Cup exploits this season and joked that his enquiry for players from the National League leaders may now be out of the window.
“It’s fantastic to see a fellow non-league club making a name for themselves on the big stage. Danny (Cowley) has done a fantastic job this season. We speak from time to time and he has asked for my opinion on players on occasions.
“They are in the quarter finals of the FA Cup now and you just hope for their sake it doesn’t take its toll on their league form. They are in a great position in the league and still in two cup competitions so hopefully the games don’t catch up with them. They have got a big draw against Arsenal and good luck to them.
“We had actually enquired about getting a couple of players on loan but with the number of games they have coming up, I don’t think that’s very likely now!”