Kevin Wilson wants to see better results against sides in the top half of the table as Ilkeston FC prepare to come up against second-placed Skelmersdale United on Saturday.
The vast majority of the Robins’ points so far this season have come against teams in the lower reaches of the table, with AFC Fylde the only side in the current top 11 that have been beaten by Wilson’s men.
And although the points so far accumulated should contribute to Ilkeston safely avoiding relegation, Wilson knows things could have been a lot different.
He said: “The inconsistency has been a problem but we’ve also been unlucky at times too, given we’ve often played well against the top sides but not been able to win - the games against King’s Lynn and FC United recently being good examples.
“We’re getting to the stage of the season now where results are going to be more important than the performances so we’re going to have to grind a few out, but I think if we can get to around the 50- 52 point mark we should be OK.
“At the start of the season and with us winning quite a few games, the expectation was that the play-offs were a realistic aim, but some of those victories papered over cracks in the sense that we had a bit of luck at times and scored at good moments in games, and it was then hard to sustain that form.”
The extent to which youth has played a part this season has surprised the Robins boss despite the club’s clear ethos on using young players, particularly those who are schooled at Ilkeston’s own academy.
“It was always the plan to go young but I’m still pleasantly surprised at how many have made the step up into the first team,” added Wilson.
“That can only help us next season as those players will have that bit more experience and quality. The older, more experienced players have an important role to play as well but must continue to make sure they step up to the plate.”
Last Saturday saw Ilkeston ease to a 5-1 win at Droylsden, and although Wilson was unable to attend having recently had surgery on his hip, he has been able to watch a DVD of the game and took heart from the result.
He said: “Firstly it was important to get back to winning ways, as it was very much a banana skin given somebody at some point could become Droylsden’s first victims.
“I was disappointed not to keep a clean sheet, and also that we weren’t a bit more ruthless in front of goal because although we scored five, I felt we got a bit too relaxed having gone three up in half-an-hour and didn’t really turn the screw.
“But all in all it was good to get the win and give us that bit more confidence.”
Tuesday night’s Derbyshire Senior Cup semi-final at home to Heanor Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and is now scheduled for next Tuesday (18th) at 7.45pm.
Meanwhile, the loans of Port Vale duo Wilson Carvalho and Cheye Alexander are due to expire, with the Robins boss now mulling over their futures.
He added: “We’ll have a look at both cases and see what we can do. Cheye’s loan runs out after the Skelmersdale game and he will then have a suspension coming up after his red card on Saturday, but I won’t rule out him returning once that’s served, if Port Vale agree to it.”