KEVIN Wilson says he’ll be treating this weekend’s clash with in-form Grantham Town like any other game as Ilkeston FC look to keep the pressure on at the top of the league.
Robins fans list Grantham among their fiercest of rivals following numerous battles in their Southern League days, particularly under the management of Keith Alexander.
But boss Wilson was keen to stress that while the match is likely to generate a lively atmosphere at the New Manor Ground, it is all about winning three points and maintaining the promotion challenge.
He said: “Obviously there’s a rivalry between the supporters and there’s bound to be an emphasis put on that, but whilst the atmosphere will be one we can hopefully use to our advantage, we have to concentrate on winning the game.
“Grantham have won 11 of their last 12 games and I went to watch their match against Belper on Tuesday night so feel well prepared for what we’ll encounter.
“I’ve said before that nothing is decided at this stage of the season and I maintain that, but we’re third in the league and have scored 52 goals in 21 games so far, so if we can keep that kind of form going then we’ll be in a great position come the end of the season.”
Last Saturday saw Ilkeston put in a dominant performance to overcome Stamford 4-2 in Lincolnshire.
And while the scoreline suggests a slightly closer encounter, Wilson was delighted with what he described as their best away display of the season so far.
He said: “We dominated for long periods and although it took until the last nine minutes for us to get back in front, it was always a matter of time given the possession we had in the second-half and the fact we had missed so many good chances.
“It was a similar encounter to the one we had against them at home in that we had the lion’s share of possession, but this time we had a more clinical edge about us which saw us score four goals.
“Both of Stamford’s goals were preventable so that was disappointing, but overall it was a very good display.”
Wilson says he expects to give a number of fringe players run-outs when the Robins host Dronfield Town in the Derbyshire Senior Cup next Tuesday night.
He said: “It’s a new competition for Ilkeston since we re-formed with some good sides in it, and it will be nice to do well.
“But we have to be careful and keep ourselves fresh for the league games so it will be another opportunity for some players who haven’t played as much to get some minutes.”
Admission for Tuesday’s game will be £3 for adults and £1.50 for concessions.