CRADLEY Town owner Trevor Thomas wants the Hammers to put a difficult few weeks behind them.

The team, which has not won in five games, is currently being run by Ian Broad after manager Nigel Birch stepped down.

Their winless run continued last Saturday when they lost 2-1 away to Smethwick Rangers.

Former manager Duane Darby will now return to the club's hot seat next season as his replacement.

Birch announced three weeks ago that that he was going to leave the club at the end of the current campaign. However, he resigned earlier than planned and left assistant Broad to take charge for the last few games.

Thomas now wants Cradley to finish the season well. He said: "It has been a difficult few weeks for the club but we are pleased that Duane will take charge next season. The main thing now is that the players enjoy playing together for the final games. It would be good if we could finish on a high even though we don't have much to play for."

Thomas also said that Darby has had scouts watching Cradley's games and gets regular updates as he prepares for the 2014/15 campaign.

Town will now play Wolverhampton Sporting Community this Saturday before travelling to take on Dudley Town on Monday.