STORKS boss Craig Chadwick has conceded that he feels disappointed by his side’s start to the season.
Padiham hit the halfway stage of their campaign tomorrow as they travel to Cheshire to face Runcorn Linnets.
But, despite beating in-form Ramsbottom United and AFC Liverpool in their previous league fixtures, Chadwick admits that he feels underwhelmed by the opening 20 encounters.
The Storks currently occupy 14th in the NWC Premier Division table with 26 points having only won seven games.
“It’s been disappointing really,” said Chadwick.
“From the way we finished last season our expectations were high but we’ve not really lived up to them.
“Maybe that’s been our downfall and everyone’s expectations have made it a bit harder for us this season.
“But there’s not much difference in the amount of points that we’d accumulated at this stage last year.
“We went on to have a really strong second half to the season then so we are still optimistic.”
And Chadwick knows that his Storks face a tough proposition tomorrow as Paul McNally et al welcome them to the Millbank Linnets Stadium.
Padiham’s opposition are in a relatively false position in the table as they sit 16th with 24 points though they have ample games in hand on their rivals.
Chadwick will also go in to the fixture without injured trio Stuart Telfer, Shaun Carey and goalkeeper Sean Davis.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Chadwick said. “They are doing well this season and have a few games in hand as well. It’s a difficult place to go because they are a decent side with a big crowd behind them.
“We need to be up for the battle.
“We’ve gone to a few places this year thinking we could play teams off the park but when they’ve got in our faces we’ve struggled a bit.
“I may change it about a bit; partly because of recent cup results against Kendall Town and Askern Villa and partly due to injuries.
“Tomorrow’s clash is going to be about who wants it more.”
Just one victory separates Padiham from ninth place Congleton Town and Chadwick is targeting the top half of the table before December arrives.
“We’ve won our last two league games and if we continue that run then we can catapult ourselves up the table,” Chadwick said. Everybody is capable of beating each other in this league so the opportunity is there if you can string a run together. But our inconsistent form has been a problem for us this year.”