Padiham boss Steve Wilkes will be back in the dug out this weekend for his side’s trip to 1874 Northwich having served a three-match ban.
The former Preston North End midfielder, who was dismissed in the 5-3 defeat to West Didsbury & Chorlton in the Lancashire Challenge Trophy tie at the Recreation Ground in November, described his spell away from the touchline as “horrendous” but refused to let the punishment curb his enthusiasm.
“I’m back in the dug out on Saturday,” he said. “I’ve missed it; it’s been horrendous. You can’t do your team talk, speak to the players and you can’t encourage from the sidelines.
“You can’t even go in at half-time to change things around and you can’t speak to the lads after the game to get your point across. It has been really difficult.
“It is tough. I hadn’t been sent off for years and these suspensions are supposed to act as a deterrent.
“However, it’s not going to change who I am as a manager because I’m a passionate person. I can’t just stand back and watch things happen.”
Saturday’s opponents have been in good form at St Luke’s Barton Stadium this term, winning nine of their 13 outings in the Hallmark Security Premier Division.
However, it’s a game that Wilkes knows the Storks have to win if they are to impact at the top end of the table.
Following the 2-2 draw with Runcorn Town on home soil, Wilkes said: “We’ve just got to keep going because all the top teams have got to play each other. We can close that gap with a win over 1874 Northwich tomorrow and we’ve still got 17 games left to affect things. We’ve still got a chance to finish up there.
“We just want to finish as high as possible and take that momentum in to next season.
“If I can keep the core of this squad come August then we will go close next year. We just don’t want to let the season peter out.
“We want to build a good camaraderie with the players and come back flying. I’m still not giving up on winning the title but you’ve got to plan ahead. We’ve got to be realistic.”
Meanwhile, Padiham Football Club will be hosting a night of boxing at the Dunkenhalgh on Saturday, May 6th.
Ticket prices for the event range from £450 to £570 for a table of 10 people while sponsorship opportunities are priced from £750.
The event will include a three-course meal, an evening of amateur boxing, a raffle and an auction.
For inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact the Storks boss or Padiham FC directly via Twitter.