Ilkeston FC boss Kevin Wilson heaped praise on his young players this week and also hailed a slightly older one as the Robins progressed up the league.
One defeat in five matches and ten points secured in the process have lifted Ilkeston away from the bottom two with Chorley set to arrive at the New Manor Ground this weekend.
And after seeing his side perform well in the 1-1 draw at Marine on Saturday before grinding out a 2-0 win at home to Grantham on Monday, Wilson was delighted.
He said: “I’ve got to give all the players great credit because at times this year we’ve not had our just rewards while there have also been occasions where we haven’t been as resilient as in the last few games, so for it all to be coming to gether is fantastic.
“They’re all working individually and collectively and answering the questions being asked of them.
“The games with Marine and Grantham were total opposites. On Saturday we kept the ball well and played some great football, whereas on Monday we didn’t play all that well but stood up to Grantham’s physical nature and restricted them to long range shots.
“A few weeks ago we’d probably have lost that game but we were strong and that pleased me greatly.”
Whilst keen to praise the whole team, Wilson added he has been pleased with the contribution made by young loan signings Curtis Thompson from Notts County and Leicester’s Jide Maduako and Steven Smith, as well as that of a player twice their age in the shape of player/coach Gary Ricketts.
He said: “The kids are all 18 and learning their trade and we’re grateful to Notts County and Leicester for letting us help them develop - a decision which is paying off for us given their performances.
“They’re helped by Gary Ricketts who still has the hunger of an 18-year-old and if they can’t get energy and inspiration from him then I don’t know who can.
“He can’t go on forever but he’s just played two full games in three days and was outstanding in both.”
On Chorley, Wilson believes momentum will now be key, adding: “We lost 1-0 up there and didn’t play all that well but I didn’t feel they did either. So we’ve got to be ready and continue our good work.”