Ghosts of seasons past haunt Padiham boss Wilkes

Casualty list: Padiham boss Steve Wilkes is currently without a host of players, including Louis Mayers
Casualty list: Padiham boss Steve Wilkes is currently without a host of players, including Louis Mayers

Storks boss Steve Wilkes has accepted that life in England’s eighth tier has become even more challenging.

Injuries and financial inferiority hindered Padiham’s ability to compete last term as they culminated the campaign in 19th in the Evo-Stik First Division North.

But those detrimental inconveniences have been exacerbated this season which has resulted in the Storks falling adrift at the foot of the table.

An extensive injury list has compounded the misery at the Arbories as the ghost of the 2013/14 campaign has returned to haunt Wilkes.

The senior squad is currently without Tom Bradley, Lewis Jordan, Louis Mayers, Curtis Haley, John Ross, Sam Morris and Dominic Craig.

And Preston North End loanee Lyle Magolis has only just returned to training after being hospitalised after collapsing.

“It’s much tougher this year,” Wilkes said.

“The teams that are in this league now are bigger and better.

“There’s teams paying big money and we just can’t compete in that respect.

“The injuries haven’t helped us either.

“Everything from last season has come back to haunt us.

“That injury list is just compounding the misery at the minute.

“There’s not much we can do about it though.

“It’s tough at the moment and to be brutally honest we’re just not good enough.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves because we’ve got a battle on our hands.

“We’ve got to keep going.”

After a 2-1 loss to Ossett Albion, with Rob Bordman scoring either side of Brett Ormerod’s 32nd minute strike, Wilkes is now determined to bolster his squad in a bid to help the club’s plight.

Padiham are next in action in the Doodson Cup First Round on Wednesday, November 19th, where they’ll entertain Bamber Bridge.

They’ll then travel to take on 17th place Brighouse Town on the Saturday in a vital league encounter.

“We are trying to bring some new players in before then,” said Wilkes.

“It’s got to be done because we’re struggling.

“We’ll hopefully have three or four more players in for Bamber Bridge next week.

“The Doodson Cup certainly isn’t our priority - the league is much more important - but a win in any competition will help.

“It gives me the opportunity to look at a few players as well.”

He added: “If we’d have beaten Ossett Albion we’d have moved to within a point of them.

“Instead we’re now seven points adrift.

“With teams having games in hand that gap could get bigger so the task of staying with our rivals gets more difficult.

“We’ve got a nice little rest from games now though.

“The break has definitely come at the right time for us.

“Hopefully we’ll have players coming back to fitness for the games against Bamber Bridge and Brighouse Town.”