ILKLEY head of rugby Rhys Morgan is hoping his 'Christmas wish' of three wins out of as many matches will come true.

The bottom-placed have lost their last five North Premier fixtures and face fellow strugglers Rossendale, followed by Sandal and Kirkby Lonsdale before the festive break, on December 7 and 14 respectively.

A 12-point swing could place the Dalesmen as high as 12th, gearing them nicely into the new year with a potential move up the table on the agenda.

Morgan would love to enjoy the perfect present at Christmas but knows his side can not look too far ahead.

He said: "It would be a Christmas wish to pick those three wins up.

"We are just going to keep morale up, take it one game at a time and work on the things we did this week to try strengthen the team.

"As every game ticks by your chances of turning it round slip away, don’t get me wrong we are not giving in, we still feel like the wins will come and that we are still in with a shout.

"If we can get that run together we can still close the gap down, every games importance gets higher and higher, every time the losing run stretches."

Ilkley suffered a crucial 24-9 home defeat to the hands of 10th-placed Morpeth at the weekend, forcing Morgan to take action.

Meanwhile, the long-serving boss is on the look-out for a player-coach to help his squad's struggles after he was left disheartened with last Saturday's result.

He said: "We are looking actively for a player-coach role, we are going to be advertising that in the next few days.

"We need an experienced head for the front row on Saturdays to assist me.

"Finding one is extremely difficult even though we are advertising, if you ask any coach in the Yorkshire area we are struggling to find one.

"If there is someone out there with a number three out there looking for a player-coach role please get in touch."

Morgan added: "It was disappointing on Saturday, we got some late injuries and we had lost our front row.

"We need everyone available, it left us in trouble and that is where we got punished, the writing was on the cards that we would struggle upfront.

"We hoped that we would be able to get away with it but Joe Pattern rolled his ankle and we were short of replacements.

"We just couldn’t match them in the scrum and didn’t take our opportunities, we will have a bit more strength this week.

"All the boys are working really hard and the way out of it is to keep concentrated week by week."