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Wilkie is refusing to panic
Friday 4th May 2007

The word 'crisis' is not in the Huyton vocabulary.

The club has come through varying degrees of adversity down the years but has always managed to bounce back. Entering a season already burdened by league demands to 'get your facilities sorted or else', the club finds itself at the foot of the ECB Premier League on the back of three defeats, but Mark Wilkie, happy to be back at the helm, remains upbeat about the season Ė and the future Ė and views the 'double header' weekend as significant to improve their position.

"I have lost the toss every week," he admitted. "Us and Wallasey, who are also near the bottom, have lost all three tosses, so we have been unlucky. It has not been the best of starts so it's important we break our duck this weekend. Realistically, in terms of playing strengths we match most teams in the league.

"I have actually been very impressed with the batting. We have posted two 200 totals, and thatís without me and David Heyes making useful contributions. Others, though, like Paul Westhead and Ian Dunn have batted well, and David Hutton, our chairman, has also scored a century."

Huyton are lacking a good seam bowler, but have acquired Andy Davies, a young off spinner, from Whitefield. He will play against champions Bootle at home tomorrow, and then at Wallasey, Wilkie's former club, on Monday.

"It will be an enjoyable return," said the skipper. "I still have a good relationship with the Wallasey lads," but he went on: "I have never denied I had six happy years at Huyton. With the situation of Lawrence Wilson and other players leaving it left Huyton in a precarious position.

"Tim Watkins had enjoyed his time at Huyton and was going back to New Brighton, but did not want to leave Huyton high and dry. The suggestion was made to see if I was interested in coming back. I was happy to get the call. It's the place I have enjoyed my cricket most. If we can survive in the Premier that would be our aim. If we are relegated because we don't have a good enough team, then so be it.

"Our main problem is we donít have an overseas pro. Take Kiran Powar out of the Maghull team and I suggest we would have been the better side."

Huyton, boosted by their first win on Sunday in the Cockspur Cup against Bury, are battling to get their ground up to standard for an inspection later this month. If improvements aren't made this season they will be relegated irrespective of where they finish.

Wilkie added: "We have always struggled for funding, but we have done various repairs and await a visit on May 28th for pointers as to where we are."