Kevin Wilson revelled in Ilkeston FC’s continued upturn in form this week and predicted the Robins’ season will only keep getting better.
The 1-0 win at home to Chorley on Saturday was Ilkeston’s third home win in a row and saw them move up to 15th in the table.
And after overseeing a dramatic improvement over the last few weeks, manager Wilson was delighted with his young squad.
He said: “There’s a real work ethic and team spirit in the camp at the moment which we were lacking at times earlier in the season.
“The youngsters have come in and shown real energy and enthusiasm, and while there’s inevitably been some naivite as well, they’ve all been fantastic on the whole.
“It’s all about confidence and getting some continuity in the team. I was a bit worried on Saturday with the number of enforced changes we had to make but although I felt we didn’t convert enough chances, we deserved the win.
“There is always a side that comes out of the pack late on in the season to challenge for promotion and right now, with the way we’re playing, I don’t see why that can’t be us.”
That success over Chorley was followed by a Derbyshire Senior Cup win against Pinxton on Monday night, with a side mostly consisting of fringe players easing to a 3-0 victory.
And Wilson felt it was a useful exercise.
“Russell Cooke, James Reid and Greg Pearson all got 90 minutes which was important, as did Laurie Wilson who was keen to get his fitness levels up too,” he said.
“It was another win and another clean sheet which is always good and I felt the young players who came in did very well.”
AFC Fylde will provide Ilkeston’s next challenge, the fourth time this season the sides have met following an opening day 1-1 draw and two FA Cup ties since the campaign began.
And Wilson believes Ilkeston are due a victory against the Lancashire outfit.
He added: “I still think Fylde are one of the better sides in this league but we owe them one to be honest.
“There has been very little in all three games we’ve played so far and we both know a lot about each other, but we’re looking forward to it as the form we’re in gives us lots of confidence.”