Storks hoping for a happy Christmas after finding form

Steve Wilkes.
Steve Wilkes.

Two wins on the spin has seen Padiham recover from their November slump but Storks boss Steve Wilkes wants his side to stop gifting the opposition goals this Christmas.

Padiham’s first clean sheet since August 24th helped them to a 1-0 win away at Mossley and Wilkes, who was able to name the same starting XI as the previous for the first time this season, said he wanted more of the same.

“Because of injuries, unavailability, suspensions etc this is the first time I was able to name the same team and I think it definitely helped, especially the back four. Tom Bradley at right back has done a fantastic job and Dean Overson, who has moved over to centre back, looks far more confident now. It breeds confidence in us going forward.”

Five leagues defeats in November saw the team sucked backed towards the bottom end of the table but wins over Mossley and Northwich Victoria has restored a lot of the players’ self-belief according to Wilkes.

“The performances have been there, we’ve just not been getting the results. We keep making lots of chances but we’re just not putting them away. Box to box it’s fine. No team has passed us off the park, it’s just when we miss a chance a chance we inevitably get punished at the other end.”

Wilkes his hoping to name the same side for the third game running when Padiham take on bottom team Ossett Albion at the Arbories on Saturday but admits he will need to make full use of his squad over the busy festive period.

Padiham play four games in 12 days over Christmas, a run which includes mouth-watering matches against Clitheroe on Boxing Day and Ramsbottom on New Year’s Day.

“It’s going to be really tough. Some of these Premier League footballers can’t play two games in a week because they need resting whereas these lads are working all over Christmas. Squad rotation is definitely going to come into it and it’s up to me to use that to the best of my ability.

“We’ve won two out of two now and the confidence is definitely up. Ossett may be bottom of the table but that means nothing in this league and we won’t be taking them for granted. If we do get a win though it will be three in a row and hopefully we can start to go on a run.

“It’s a lot more bubbly round the club now, training sessions are going well and you can see that the players are beginning to believe that they belong in this league. It’s taken a while for them and the managerial staff to fins their feet but it’s definitely coming togethter.”

Kick-off against Ossett Albion on Saturday is at 3pm.