Darlington are making progress in their hunt for a manager and appear likely to install Steve Staunton’s successor in time for their next home game.

That’s at home to Hereford on Easter Monday. For today’s trip to Shrewsbury Town and next Saturday’s game at Burton Albion, Craig Liddle and Neil Maddison remain in charge.

The sooner the new man is installed the better as far as the caretaker bosses are concerned, at least then they might get a day off.

As well as taking care of first-team affairs, the pair have retained their responsibilities within the youth section so are working flat out.

Neither is complaining about the workload, and both relish the opportunity, though Liddle reveals that being dedicated to Darlington means seeing little of his family.

“I think our last day off was in the first week of January so it’s been seven days a week and God knows how many hours per week,” he said. “But if I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t be doing it.

“I get a lot of stick from the missus and the family but we’ll just keep on going until we’re told otherwise.

“We’re juggling things between us. I’ve got the youth team to look after and Neil’s got the schoolboys to deal with, so we’re really working ridiculous hours. But it’s something I’m prepared to do because we’ve both got a lot of affection for the club.

“On Monday myself and Neil took the first-team training in the afternoon, after we did the youth team in the morning. On Tuesday afternoon we did the youth team training then we had the game against Aldershot on the night.

“On Wednesday the boys were at college but there was a reserve game on the night, then on Thursday it was firstteam training in the morning, youth-team in the afternoon and under-16s in the evening.

“First thing on Friday morning it’s off down to Shrewsbury for the first-team, Sunday we’ve got the school of excellence games, then back in for training on Monday. I’m not complaining, that’s just the way it is and I’m sure we’re appreciated by the right people at the football club.”

Being required on the touchline at Shrewsbury would have meant Liddle being unable to oversee the youth team’s game with Hartlepool this morning, however the match has been postponed due to waterlogging.

Liddle and Maddison have overseen a clutch of talent emerging from the youth team with South Shields-born duo Josh Gray and Curtis Main both appearing in over half of Quakers’ games this season.

Dan Burn, Dan Groves and Corey Barnes have also featured, while John McReady and Dan Riley have appeared as unused substitutes.

Gray and Main entered proceedings from the bench in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Aldershot Town.

Both made a positive impact with left-winger Gray unfortunate not to score.

Liddle said: “I know Josh inside out because I had him in the youth team so I know how he responds and what he needs.

“Josh was unlucky not to score. There was one in injury time that took a deflection and could have gone anywhere.

He got ten or 12 goals in the youth team and I think once he gets one at this level he’ll get a few more.

“He needs to be a little bit more composed in the final third and get his head up a bit more, which is something I spoke to him about last year in the youth team and again on Tuesday.

“He’s still only 18 and needs time to develop but he’s certainly got something and I know there’s clubs at this level looking at him.

“But the reason we went for an experienced line-up was that the young lads have had a lot on their shoulders.

“They have been expected to do a man’s job and it’s been difficult for them, so we went for senior pros who have been in these situations before. We then introduced the young lads in the second half, they added a bit of freshness.”

Gray is in the reckoning to replace Gareth Waite, who is struggling with a knee injury.

Darlington are aiming for their first win in 11 games and although Shrewsbury are on the verge of the play-offs they have lost their last three, winning only one of the last six matches. They were the first team Quakers beat this season, a 2-1 win in Staunton’s first home game.