Wilkes – Storks have to roll sleeves up

Padiham FC V Ashton Athletic FC at The Arbories, Padiham.
Padiham FC (Blue) V Ashton Athletic (Yellow).
Padiham's Manager Steve Wilkes.
22nd August 2015
Padiham FC V Ashton Athletic FC at The Arbories, Padiham. Padiham FC (Blue) V Ashton Athletic (Yellow). Padiham's Manager Steve Wilkes. 22nd August 2015

Padiham boss Steve Wilkes has ordered his players to roll up their sleeves in an attempt to turn the club’s early season slump on its head.

The Storks, who suffered a mixed pre-season, have lost all three competitive fixtures to date having been dumped out of the FA Cup in the extra preliminary round by City of Liverpool before losing out to Northwich Victoria and Charnock Richard in the Hallmark Security NWCFL Premier Division.

Wilkes has only seen limited action so far this term after being hit with a three-game stadium ban by the FA, but the former Preston North End midfielder revealed that the feedback received has been far from positive.

“We’ve not started the season well,” he said.

“I’ve heard reports that it’s not been very good at all.

“We had a mixed pre-season and you can’t do that.

“You’ve got to be on the money all the time.

“You can’t pick and choose when you want to play.

“We’ve got to start picking up points quickly.

“Morale is low due to results because we shouldn’t be getting beat 4-1 at Charnock Richard or 4-2 at home to Northwich Victoria.

“The squad that we have is decent.

“It’s not strong enough to win the league but they should be doing better than they currently are doing.

“That’s what needs to happen.

“They’ve got to roll their sleeves up because it’s not just going to happen for them.

“They’ve got to take responsibility.”

Wilkes will make his first appearance in the dugout on Saturday at St Luke’s Barton Stadium as the Storks take on 1874 Northwich.

The visitors will be without Chris Turner for the fixture with the midfielder sidelined through a back injury.

Striker Jay Hart is serving the final game of a three-match suspension, while Brandon Barski is also expected to miss out with a groin strain.

However, Wilkes has drafted in defenders Tom Murphy, from Ramsbottom United, and Ash Carter in a bid to bolster his ranks.

“It’ll be my first game in the dugout at the weekend,” said Wilkes.

“That will hopefully give the lads a boost.

“Hopefully we can get three points this weekend to kickstart our season.

“I’m partly to blame for not being in the dugout but the players have also got to look at themselves.

“1874 Northwich are a very strong side.

“They’ve had a good, unbeaten start to the season so it will be a tough one.

“I think a win would change everything and bring confidence back into the group.

“It would bring a few smiles around the place.”