Padiham boss Wilkes hoping for psychological edge

Cup exit: Padiham's Paul Fildes goes for goal in Saturday's FA Cup defeat at home to Shildon
Cup exit: Padiham's Paul Fildes goes for goal in Saturday's FA Cup defeat at home to Shildon

Storks boss Steve Wilkes has adopted sports psychology as part of the club’s strategy for the new season.

The Arbories chief has invited Positive Synergy’s Paul Trainor to work with the squad in hope that he can reflect his company’s tagline of ‘inspiring success’.

Padiham have opened the campaign with three league defeats from four outings as well as a disappointing FA Cup exit at the hands of Shildon on home soil in the competition’s preliminary round.

However, Wilkes is realistic about the task his players face this term: “I’ve brought a sports psychologist in to speak to the players. He’s told me to stop thinking about money. There’s a significant difference between us and our rivals though so it’s not an excuse it’s just reality.

“He’s been very good and is helping to strengthen the players mentally. We’re just trying different things at the moment because it’s been tough on the pitch. We’re determined to establish ourselves in the First Division North.”

The embryonic stages of the new season has already inflicted the struggles that the Storks faced in 2013/14. Plagued by injury, Wilkes’s squad has already seen the likes of Ben Allen, Michael Morrison, Louis Mayers, Sam Morris, Lewis Jordan and Elliot Dunn face spells on the sidelines.

“It’s unbelievable,” Wilkes said. “Injuries have smacked us again already. It’s a repeat of last season. We’re just not having any luck in that department because the majority of the lads out would all start.

“We struggled to compete in terms of physicality last year so I’ve brought in Craig Haines from Prescot Cables and James Jenkins from Accrington Stanley to help with that. But it’s been a struggle still because we’ve lost so many players to injury.”

Ahead of games with Warrington Town tomorrow and Droylsden on Wednesday, Wilkes added: “We always knew it was going to be a difficult start anyway so it’s important that we stick together and not get too downbeat about it. We’ve played some very, very good sides. We’ve got two tough games in five days now as well.”