Kevin Wilson says a cup final date at the end of April will give his squad something to fight for after Ilkeston upset local rivals Alfreton on Tuesday night.
The 2-0 win set up a Derbyshire Senior Cup date with Matlock Town at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium on April 30 - the first knockout cup final the new Robins have reached since reforming in 2011.
And Wilson was delighted his side and the club as a whole will have something to look forward to after the league season has finished.
He said: “It’s great for the club but also gives the players something to fight for, in that they will all want to play at a big ground in a final and I’m sure they’ll be out to impress me over the next few hectic weeks.
“We did really well to nullify Alfreton’s early threat and felt we more than matched them in most departments.
“It was a good morale boost too after a difficult few weeks, where I felt we’ve often deserved more than we’ve got from several of the games.”
The most recent of those games was the 3-2 loss at Blyth Spartans on Saturday, where the home side took the points courtesy of a penalty in the dying seconds of the game.
Wilson was dismayed by the decision to award the spot-kick that ultimately cost his side at least a point, but couldn’t fault his players for the performance.
He said: “The lad got 9.8 from me for the way he went over at the end but we all know these things can happen, and my players didn’t deserve that as they’d played very well.
“It was a very open game, something which I think will be different when they come here next week (30th) as we won’t allow it, and once again we were guilty of not taking enough chances.”
Ilkeston face an uphill struggle to have a chance of a play-off spot, particularly with a mammoth battle going on above them between several clubs for a place in the top five.
But Wilson believes the season is far from over in terms of the league position.
He added: “We’ve got to keep going and claim as many of the points on offer as possible.
“There are lots of games coming up so it’ll stretch our resources a bit in terms of the playing side, but there’s no reason why we can’t finish in a much higher position than we’re in now.”