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Dev hoping Magpies can pick up where they left off

Boss Alan Devonshire is hoping to have a fully-fit squad to choose from for his side’s crunch trip to AFC Fylde on Saturday.

The Magpies head to the north-west following a two-week break which has allowed the players to recuperate ahead of the National League run-in.

Victory over the Coasters would represent a third win on the spin for the Magpies and lift them further away from a congested relegation zone.

Devonshire said: “I’m delighted with the squad and everyone is now fit and well.

“We have been training hard, which we needed to, and we stepped it up this week.”

The Magpies picked up one of their best results of the season last time out as they beat pre-season title hopefuls Solihull Moors 2-0 at Damson Park.

Saturday’s opponents Fylde were another side tipped for promotion this year but things have not quite worked out as many envisaged.

Long-serving boss Dave Challinor was replaced by the experienced Jim Bentley in January with the club’s record goalscorer Danny Rowe also departing for the Football League last month.

After blowing a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Eastleigh on Tuesday, Fylde remain in 22nd place, six points off safety with one game in hand. And the Magpies boss said the struggles of his upcoming opponents demonstrated the strength of the National League this season.

“The league is stronger this year, there’s no doubt about that,” Devonshire said.

“Fylde were one of the favourites to win the league at the start of the year and they are down there with the other big sides.

“They are a strong group of players. It might not seem like it with their results as they’ve been picking up a lot of draws but they will make things difficult for us.”

Maidenhead plan to travel up for the game on Friday and will be hoping that the anticipated arrival of Storm Dennis does not derail their matchday plans.

Strong winds and heavy rain are forecast but Devonshire insisted his players will need to be up for the fight come what may.

He said: “Every game that we play is massive for us.”

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