llkeston FC manager Kevin Wilson feels pre-season performances from his team have been OK so far but that there is always room for improvement, with the new season only nine days away.
On Saturday, the Robins lost 3-2 at Belper Town, conceding a goal in the first minute of each half.
Jason Stokes was on target twice for the Robins in reply.
They were also in action on Tuesday night at Eastwood Town as the Advertiser went to press, and they travel to take on Coaville Town on Saturday.
Wilson says the three away matches to finish pre-season are a deliberate policy as he was dissatisfied with some of his side’s performances on the road last season, and feels they can do better this time around.
He explained: “We aimed to end with three away games at Belper, Eastwood and Coalville because we know that, at home, we can open teams up with our play but I felt we didn’t do as well as we could away from home last year. So we needed to address that in these three games.
“On Saturday at Belper, I felt even during the warm-up that the lads hadn’t quite picked it up again after the Chelsea game and there was a bit of a hangover there.
“So it proved when Belper scored a goal within the first minute. But the good thing about it was that we didn’t have three points at stake and we got it out of our system in a friendly.
“It was a deliberate ploy for us to go from the Chelsea game to Belper because of the different style of play we would get from the opposition.
“Peter Duffield is a friend of mine and I knew his side would press hard for the ball and push us back quite a bit, as will a lot of teams in this league once the season starts, so that was useful for us and we had a bit of a reality check there.”
He continued: “We are doing OK at the moment but you always feel there is room for improvement, although I don’t tend to read too much into pre-season.
“I’ve been at clubs where you win all your pre-season games and then lose the first game of the season.
“But we are focusing on August 17, getting right for that first game and then going forward from there.”
He added that he is still looking at bringing in an experienced centre half.
“We are going to be without Joe Maguire for those first three games. Ellis Storey and Matt Baker both did well for us but ideally we would like an experienced centre-half alongside one of them, so we’re still working away on that.”