Manager Kevin Wilson has challenged his Ilkeston FC players to go on another unbeaten run after their first defeat in ten games last weekend.
The 2-0 loss to Stafford was the first since a similar scoreline at Hednesford Town in November, during which time the Robins have climbed up to a comfortable mid-table position.
And with a play-off spot still there for the taking in a league that remains tight in the top half, Wilson, whilst disappointed at Saturday’s defeat, feels his team are capable of continuing to climb.
He said: “In some ways the enforced break due to the weather came at a bad time for us as we were playing well and the results were going our way.
“Saturday wasn’t good enough which was disappointing.
“We played into Stafford’s hands and didn’t open them up enough in wide positions, and we just didn’t perform as a team or individually.
“There was a big question of offside for the first goal but we’ve seen already this season that officials can miss the big decisions, often to our cost.
“They say these things even themselves out. I really hope they will!
“We’ve just got to digest it, dust ourselves down and get ready to go again. It’s important we forget about Saturday and move forward because we know we’re hard to beat and I want us to go on another run.”
This weekend sees Ilkeston travel to play Stocksbridge Park Steels, who are struggling towards the bottom of the table.
The Robins edged a 1-0 victory over Steels at the New Manor Ground in October and Wilson is expecting a similarly close encounter.
He said: “It will be difficult because they’ll keep working hard and closing us down, something we found out in the first game where we had lots of chances but only won 1-0.
“We’ve got two training sessions before the weekend and will be ready for it. There won’t be any changes to the team despite what happened at the weekend, there’s no need.
“It was a tough start for the debutants (Jide Maduako and Jake Wholey) but they’ll adjust, as will young Kieran O’Connell who I thought did well when he came on in the second-half.”
Another debutant who featured but who won’t appear again for the Robins is striker Cameron Darkwah.
The youngster played the second-half against Stafford, but feels the travelling from his home in Stockport will be too much to continue his Ilkeston career.
Wilson added: “Chorley put seven days in for Cameron and to be fair to him it’s much closer to home and he feels that would be a better move.
“It’s a pity of course but we wish him well.”
Wilson says he doesn’t expect any more additions to be made to the Ilkeston squad ahead of the match at Stocksbridge.