Form still a concern as title-chasers visit

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Kevin Wilson believes Ilkeston FC can still pull clear of relegation trouble despite a tough run of fixtures to end the season.

The Robins have lost three home games in a row - all in March - and face a fourth consecutive match at the New Manor Ground this weekend when title-chasing Chorley are the visitors.

But following the latest of those defeats, a 1-0 loss to Blyth Spartans last Saturday, Wilson was philosophical about the job in hand.

He said: “It’s tough at the moment but there are people in a lot worse positions than us and we’ve got to keep believing in ourselves and what we’re trying to do, even if it’s not going so well at this moment in time.

“I don’t think we deserved to lose against Blyth. Our first-half performance especially was much better but we’ve made one mistake and Blyth have put the ball in the back of the net which has cost us the game.

“That has been the story a few times this season. We then had injuries to Matt Richards and Courtney Baker-Richardson at half-time so had to change what we’d started with, but Blyth changed their system too and we couldn’t break through. I know the fans are frustrated and accept that.

“But we’ve got to take it a game at a time. You only play for three points, not 18.

“We were better against Blyth than in previous games but we’re at the stage of the season now where results matter more than performances and it’s something we need to put right.”

Ilkeston played with the 3-5-2 formation against Blyth, a system used by the club’s academy to great effect and one which Wilson is keen to continue using with the first team.

He added: “It’s something I want to use more if I can because it gets you on the ball and can do a lot of damage.

“The main problem at the moment is that we’re not putting the ball in the back of the net and that’s something we’ll need to rectify.

“I said to the players if we keep working things will change.

“If they pack it in now we could go down, the choice is theirs.

“We’ve got to worry about our own form and not about those around us. It might be that we pick up a scruffy 1-0 win at some point which could be enough.”

Ilkeston will face four of the current top six before the end of the campaign, three of them at home and with away games at fellow strugglers Marine and mid-table Trafford on the diary too.

Regarding Chorley’s visit on Saturday, Wilson added: “We’ve often done well against the sides at the top end of the table and gave them a good game back in November.

“The pressure will be on Chorley to win given they’re going for the title and if we go into the game with the right mentality we could disrupt their rhythm and cause a surprise.”