Storks boss Wilkes wants improvement in home form

North West Counties football action from Padiham (pale blue) v 1974 Northwich.
Padiham Manager Steve Wilkes takes issue with a comment from the crowd after his side go 4 down within half an hour.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
2-4-2016
North West Counties football action from Padiham (pale blue) v 1974 Northwich. Padiham Manager Steve Wilkes takes issue with a comment from the crowd after his side go 4 down within half an hour. PIC BY ROB LOCK 2-4-2016

Storks boss Steve Wilkes wants to see an upturn in his side’s home form over the final stretch of the campaign.

Padiham have won just six of their 16 North West Counties Premier Division fixtures at the Arbories this term, but they have an opportunity to improve that statistic, with five of their remaining seven fixtures being played on home soil.

The last fixture at their Well Street home ended in a resounding 6-3 win over Alsager Town, and Wilkes feels that should set the tone for the remainder of the season.

“I’m happy with our away form,” said Wilkes after a 2-2 draw with AFC Liverpool made it six games unbeaten on their travels.

“We’ve won as many games away from home this year as we have at the Arbories. But your home form is crucial, and we need to improve on that front.

“Your home form should be decent. Your spectators pay to watch you and you’ve got to put on a show. We haven’t done that this season.

“You should make it a fortress, but for some reason it hasn’t been. We’ve got five games to change that now.”

Next up at the YESSS Electrical Arena for the 16th place Storks is Runcorn Town, with kick off scheduled for 3 p.m. tomorrow.

“Their run of form has been poor, but they’ve won two of their last three,” said Wilkes, who welcomes defender Anthony Fitzgerald back from suspension.

“Their manager Simon Burton has resigned to join City of Liverpool at the end of the season.

“Results and performances can sometimes drop when a manager leaves a club, but they seem to have gone the other way.”

Reluctant to let the season peter out, Wilkes has set his squad the target of a top 10 finish in a bid to keep the fire burning.

“We’ve only lost once in nine outings which is good,” he said. “We were disappointed at the weekend because we dropped two points against AFC Liverpool, again.

“We need to stay switched on, because late goals have been costing us very much this season. We’re not concentrating for the full duration, and good teams don’t do that.

“We can’t afford to keep conceding late goals. We need to be more professional in the last few minutes and see games out. There’s been a pattern emerging over the season.”

“Wilkes added: “I still want to finish in the top 10 and we’ve got seven games left to do it. I don’t want the season to peter out so this gives us something to play for. We want to win all of our remaining games.”