Steve Wilkes is looking to build a squad capable of competing for the title next term and the Arbories boss has challenged his players to use that as motivation.
The Storks were beaten for the second time in four games at the weekend when Jack Leamey’s second half strike for AFC Liverpool proved to be the difference in an uneventful clash at the Marine Travel Arena.
Padiham slipped 20 points adrift of Hallmark Security Premier Division leaders Bootle as a result leaving Wilkes with the worry that the season could peter out.
However, the former Preston North End midfielder is already devising a plan to help boost the club’s chances of promotion and he wants his current class to show that they want to be a part of it.
“I just don’t want the season to peter out,” he said. “We’ve only lost two games recently which is a great effort so we need to continue that and push for the top five which is achieveable.
“I just want us to finish as high as we can and make inroads in to next season. I’ve already spoken to players because I want to build a championship-winning side.
“It’s up to the players now to prove that they are good enough to play for me. There’s plenty for them to play for.
“That’s got to be their motivation now. Go and show me that you want to be a part of this next season.
“On paper I’ve got one of the best squads in the league but you don’t win anything on paper. They need to roll their sleeves up and take pride in their performance.”
Padiham travel to the Delta Taxi Stadium to tackle the table toppers tomorrow, kick off at 3 p.m.
The Merseysiders are the highest scorers in the division having netted 98 times in 28 games.
They’ve scored 16 of those in their last two outings, beating Cammell Laird 7-1 before putting nine past AFC Darwen at the weekend.
Wilkes, who will be without captain Martin Parkes, midfielder Garry Hunter and defender James Walker for the fixture, said: “It’s a tough game on Saturday. We’ve got some important players missing against Bootle and they’ve just hammered AFC Darwen 9-0.
“They are going well and they are full of confidence. They are scoring plenty of goals but I would like to think that we will give them a good game.”