Ilkeston FC boss Kevin Wilson believes this season remains a voyage of discovery despite there being little left to play for in terms of league action.
The Robins look set for a mid-table finish in their first Evo-Stik Premier Division season after a topsy-turvy campaign that has seen them fighting relegation and then battling for a play-off place.
But while a top ten spot remains on Wilson’s wish list, he is still keen to learn a lot about his squad in the remaining games.
He said: “We want to keep getting points and finish as high as we can, but I think I also want to find out a few more things about what I have here before the season is out.
“I want to prove to myself that the academy is working well by blooding some of the players from it in the first team and seeing how they get on.
“There are games coming up where I should be able to do that.”
Those games are unlikely to include the visit of Hednesford Town on Saturday, with the Pitmen battling for the league title.
Wilson added: “I’ve got to be sensible and also respect the situation as North Ferriby are also going for the title and will want us to give it all we’ve got.
“We also owe Hednesford one after they beat us earlier in the season, when we had what we felt was a legitimate goal not given and didn’t deserve to lose.
“But there is then a trip to Whitby in midweek and the first of the two Matlock games, neither of which have much at stake, where I can perhaps look at my options.”
The second of those Matlock games will be the Derbyshire Senior Cup final at Chesterfield on April 30, and Wilson is keen to ensure his first choice squad is fresh for that game.
He said: “We’ve dropped too many points this season against sides lower down the table and it’s cost us. But now we have a chance to start looking ahead to next season early and see how strong the squad is.”
Meanwhile, Wilson was unhappy with the display shown by the Robins in the 3-2 defeat at Kendal on Saturday.
He said: “I want to apologise to the fans who travelled as we weren’t good enough.
“Maybe, having played so many games recently, I should have made more changes, but we were too open in the second-half and were punished.
“But Danny Gordon (two goal debutant) was a great plus as he played very well, and with Tyrell Waite having made his debut for Notts County and made us some money in the process it was a good day in terms of the academy products, which helped make the journey home that bit easier!”