Duffers’ Diaries: Alarm bells ringing a bit louder at the NMG

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Monday’s defeat to Mickleover was perhaps the biggest sign yet that this season is far from over.

Things have gone from Ilkeston being seemingly safe and releasing eight first team players because it looked like it wouldn’t matter, to subsequently losing eight games on the bounce and having to really look over their shoulders.

The fact is they really should get another win from somewhere before the season is out, just don’t ask me in which game it’ll be.

Should the unthinkable happen and they keep losing then it’ll still take a pretty good effort from one or two of the sides currently in the relegation zone to overhaul them.

However, it’s not over yet and the Robins have to do what they can to ease any fears and quickly.

This young team clearly can’t cope with the rigours of the division but it’s not really their fault as they don’t have the required knowledge, ability and wisdom alongside them on the pitch to help them.

Yes, they’re playing well at times and have come close to some good results recently, but the facts are in black and white that they’re losing too many and if this was the case over a whole season they’d be down by Christmas.

It seems pretty obvious that quite a lot of changes will have to happen ahead of next season, namely getting the average age of the squad up to at least 22/23, but still including the best of the young talent when possible.

Quite what the situation is behind the scenes at the moment is unclear but things I hear from various quarters do concern me a little and questions will, I assure you, be asked as to the future of the club and what the financial situation is, once owner Nigel Harrop has had his imminent heart bypass operation, with which I’m sure all will wish him well.

In the meantime, league leaders Blyth Spartans come knocking on Saturday and the way this season has gone it’ll probably be that match which sees the losing streak ended, only for it to start again with the visit of struggling Whitby on Monday!