Experienced pair Kyle May and Willy Paul will have to earn their places back in Penrith AFC’s team, manager Andy Coyles has warned.

Between them, the duo have played more than 1,000 games.

But ahead of today’s encounter at second-placed Bishop Auckland (3pm kick-off), after the Bonny Blues’ first home Northern League win of the season against Stockton Town last Saturday, Coyles admits he can’t guarantee either an immediate return to his starting line-up.

“We haven’t yet got the same starting XI out for consecutive matches, that’s the frustrating thing,” said Coyles.

“One week, we get a team out like last week’s but, the next week, I guarantee there will be one or two missing as a result of the nature of the league we’re in – some might be away, some might be on holiday.

“We have a couple to come back, but it’s going to be exceptionally hard for them. We have Willy Paul to come back, we have Kyle May to come back, but they have to try and earn their spot after a result like that.” 

Shaun Gardner was among Penrith’s scorers at the weekend.

Coyles said: “He is a valuable player to us. I have played him the last two weeks in a row, and I haven’t wanted to, because he’s been struggling with a hamstring injury.

"The Whitehaven match, he was only at 60 per cent, [and] at Whickham, he was about 50 per cent.

"But that shows you the character of the lad, that’s the character we are looking for at Penrith.”