PADIHAM are seeking backroom reinforcements after assistant manager and coach Danny Craig left the club by mutual consent.

Craig leaves the position with immediate effect, 12 months after replacing Steve Cunningham, who quit to take over as manager of North West Counties Premier League side Colne.


Both reserve team manager Stephen Pickup and coach Shaun Astin will now combine to assist manager Steve Wilkes until a new number two is found.

The Storks boss has said he is on the lookout for a new number two but added he is in no rush to make an appointment, given that the reserves are without a fixture until January, freeing up Cunningham to fill the void.

Wilkes’ biggest immediate concern is to boost his squad, after today losing Louis Mayers to Clitheroe.

It is the latest in a long line of players Padiham have lost to their rivals in the last 12 months, with the Storks already down to the bare bones through injury and suspension, and without the budget to compete to try to swell their squad.

Ben Allen begins a three-week suspension ahead of Saturday’s difficult trip to big-spending Salford City, while captain Martin Parkes is not only banned but also recovering from a dislocated shoulder.

Wilkes was hoping to add former Blackpool and Accrington Stanley defender Danny Coid to his squad, but the 33-year-old suffered a knee injury in his first game on Saturday.

Mark Sharples has also joined the queue for the treatment table with a pulled thigh muscle.

It appears to be going from bad to worse for Padiham, who are rock bottom of Evo-Stik First Division North.

But Wilkes is not ready to wave the white flag.

“It’s the toughest time I’ve known, but I won’t give up,” said the Storks boss.

“If anything I’m relishing the challenge that little bit more.

“Not for one minute have I thought I can’t do this job.”

Padiham’s losing streak stretched to six games with Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at Prescot Cables.

The odds will be stacked against them at Salford on Saturday, but Wilkes insists they can go there without fear.

“It will be completely different to last Saturday, which was billed as a six-pointer,” he said.

“When you’re playing teams around you, you need to not lose matches.

“The pressure is off us a bit this weekend because we’re not expected to win. No-one will give us a chance, but that’s not the way we’ll go about it.

“We’ll be going out to try to win the game.”

After missing nine players on Saturday, Wilkes is hoping to get at least two back after injury, while he remains on the hunt for new signings in their efforts to beat the drop.