Jansen buoyed by Magpies improving form, Challinor glad to see Fylde in second spot

Chorley midfielder Jake Cottrell
Chorley midfielder Jake Cottrell
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Matt Jansen hopes Chorley can now build some momentum after back-to-back victories in the National League North.

After an inconsistent start to the season, the Magpies sit seventh in the table ahead of tomorrow’s away fixture against Lowestoft Town.

Last time out, Chorley registered their second home win of the season, beating Stockport County 1-0.

Prior to that the Magpies defeated Boston United, who they beat in last season’s play-off semi-final 2-1.

The Magpies travel to Suffolk in fine form, victory over County there fifth in eight games.

Tomorrow’s opponents have struggled in their second National League North season, winning just two of their opening 10 games.

Despite their poor form, Jansen is refusing to underestimate the Trawler Boys.

“They beat us last year at their place, it won’t be easy and we’ve got to get up for it,” the Magpies chief said.

“We’ll be doing it right and we’ll be stopping over on the Friday night, I want us to be coming back with the three points.

“We want to start building the momentum now, we strengthened the squad with quality and I think it’s starting to show.”

The Magpies, who are seven points off table toppers Solihull Moors, could well have been in the play-off places had lady luck been on their side.

On the opening day of the season, they went down 3-2 against Nuneaton Town despite dominating long periods of the second half.

They then lost 2-1 against Alfreton Town at Victory Park and plenty of fans were left wondering how Chorley didn’t pick up the three points.

Boss Jansen hailed the latest win over Stockport and he feels the performances haven’t been lacking this season.

“The North Ferriby United game is the only one I’ve been unhappy with this season,” he added.

“Apart from that I think we’ve played well in near enough every game.

“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb against Nuneaton Town but fought back and deserved a point.

“I’m still wondering how we didn’t beat Alfreton as we had that many chances.

“We gave ourselves two monster games against Boston United and Stockport and we rose to the occasion.

“I think the bigger the game it seems to suit us a lot more, we went out fighting against Stockport.

“We look a strong solid outfit and we are playing a lot more consistently.

“These things take time, I’m learning myself as this is only my first managerial role.

“I’m not worried about our home form, we’ve just been on the wrong side of some results.

“We are progressing nicely and hopefully we can keep improving.”

Jansen reserved praise for midfielder Jake Cottrell.

Cottrell, who joined Chorley in the summer of 2013, has starred in the Magpies’ past two fixtures.

The former FC United man has taken up the holding role in the Chorley midfield and Jansen has been delighted with his performances.

“The past two games is the best I’ve seen Jake play,” he said.

“He’s been immense in his new position, he ran tirelessly against Stockport and I thought he was superb.”

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor believes the National League North table will only start to take shape once the “full on” first six weeks are out of the way, though he’s delighted his side climbed back into second spot with Tuesday’s 4-0 home win FC United of Manchester.

That was the Coasters’ last midweek league game until Christmas, and after tomorrow’s visit to Boston United the Fylde boss can look forward to a full week between National League engagements. Challinor said: “It’s a big positive to have the gap between games to clear up niggles, especially with the injuries we’ve had. The early weeks are full on and I think the league will start to take shape now.

“I do feel it’s a fairly open and equal league this season. I think you’ll see some unexpected results and some teams coming up to challenge who we aren’t used to seeing.”

Those injuries are slowly clearing up but Fylde will again be shorthanded in defence at Boston. The manager admitted: “We are still struggling at the back. Dom Collins is not far away, though Saturday may come too soon for him.

“Adam Sumner and Josh Langley will be at least a couple of weeks, maybe four, so we’re still low on numbers.

“It’s been tough. We haven’t managed to bring in the players we wanted, so it’s been a case of going with what we have.”

And that made the hammering of FC United all the more satisfying, even though the visitors had their goalkeeper sent off early in the second half. Challinor added: “It was a good performance because we had been disappointed with the draw against Tamworth on Saturday and this was what we needed.

“As it panned out, we knew a draw with Tamworth would be a good result as long as we won on Tuesday.

“The league position isn’t massively important at his stage of the season but it’s good to be up there to be shot at.

“We hadn’t been overly happy with the performances before Tuesday, but we always knew it was going to be difficult because teams know about us now and we have been disjointed because of injuries.

“To be fair, we were very fortunate with injuries last season, so to be where we are while playing nowhere near our best gives us plenty of hope.”

In contrast to the defensive situation, Challinor has competition galore up front, particularly after Matty Hughes’ impressive comeback in midweek.

Challinor said: “We have massive options up top, which means we can go different ways for different opposition.

“Matty’s first start on Tuesday was a massive positive. He has been out since pre-season, so to get 90 minutes out of him was great. He looked fantastic for someone who has hardly played.”

Tomorrow’s hosts Boston surrendered a two-goal lead at Corby on Wednesday but recovered to record their first win in five thanks to Scott Garner’s late winner.

Challinor attended the game and said: “We were walking out of the ground when they scored their winner but Boston have had a tough start.

“They are in a similar position to ourselves in that they lost in the play-offs last season and people know all about them know.

“But we will concentrate on ourselves and we should take massive belief out of Tuesday, though we will probably need a different type of performance this weekend.”

Elsewhere in the National League, Southport travel to FC Halifax Town.