Ilkeston FC boss Kevin Wilson is demanding big improvements from his players as the Robins continue to struggle in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
Wilson is keen to operate with a more settled side than he has been forced to put out in recent weeks, but poor performances all over the pitch have seen regular changes made to the team.
And after watching his side battle out a dramatic 4-4 draw at home to Kendal Town last weekend, Wilson says it became apparent a lot of work still needs to be done.
“The Kendal game highlighted so many things, some good but mostly bad, and left me with a lot to think about,” he said.
“When I look back I wonder whether we left a lot of energy out on the pitch at North Ferriby and whether we prepared properly for the weekend.
“But the first 45 minutes was so disappointing I had to make some drastic changes. I’ve never made three substitutions at half-time in my whole managerial career but it had to be done.
“Darren Caskey said to me ‘what if someone gets injured?’, but to be honest I just said we’ll have to deal with it there and then.
“That first-half display, and the second-half performance at Whitby in the FA Trophy, simply cannot happen at this football club.”
Wilson’s changes eventually saw Ilkeston recover from 4-1 down with five minutes of the 90 left to draw 4-4, with new loan signing Jack Eades notching his second goal of the game in the fourth minute of injury-time to steal a point.
Wilson added: “Does the result paper over the cracks? Possibly.
“The club is under a lot of scrutiny at the moment for the first time. Things went well last year and expectations grew to the point we all thought we’d be challenging in the top half of the table.
“That isn’t happening and we need to take a long, hard look at ourselves, and that includes all of the management, staff and players.
“We may be in a higher league but players usually take the opportunities that come with that. It seems we’re being punished for every mistake while at the same time not putting the ball in the back of the net enough.”
Wilson now hopes to make changes to his squad, with new signings possible ahead of this weekend’s visit of FC United of Manchester.
He said: “Jack Eades came in last weekend and after a nervous first-half I thought he did very well.
“But we ended up needing a 37-year-old (Gary Ricketts) to come on and give us a lift, and he can’t do that all the time.
“We’ve got to be pro-active and hopefully then we can get a good run of results. We’ve a few home games coming up which may help and having these couple of midweeks free may also give the players a much-needed rest.”
Saturday’s visitors sit ninth in the league and beat Ilkeston’s local rivals Eastwood Town 4-1 on Sunday.
Wilson added: “They’re a good footballing side and have done well over the last few years.
“But we really must start pushing up the table now. We’ve five or six games in hand on some of those around us and should probably aiming at the likes of Grantham who are 16th but have played four more than us.
“But regardless of how many we’ve played, the table doesn’t lie and we need to start moving away from the bottom.”