Wilson keen for Robins to decide their own fate

Kevin Wilson (right) and his assistant Steve Chettle will take their Ilkeston FC side to Liverpool on Saturday to face fellow strugglers Marine
Kevin Wilson (right) and his assistant Steve Chettle will take their Ilkeston FC side to Liverpool on Saturday to face fellow strugglers Marine

Kevin Wilson says Ilkeston FC must concentrate on their own task in hand as they look to secure their Evo-Stik Premier Division survival.

The Robins need just three points to be mathematically certain of avoiding the drop, or will need to hope that current fourth from bottom side Frickley Athletic fail to take nine points from their three remaining fixtures.

And although safety looks more or less assured, manager Wilson is keen to see his side finish the season as strongly as possible.

He said: “We can’t be worrying about what is happening elsewhere - our fate is in our own hands and on that basis we just need to go out and do what we’ve got to do.

“There’s nothing to say Frickley won’t go and win their last three games and that we won’t pick up the required points if we don’t apply ourselves properly, so of course it’s possible we can be caught, but we can quickly end that possibility by getting a win.

“I’d certainly rather be seven points ahead than seven points behind.”

With the imminent demotion of Vauxhall Motors FC from the Conference North, it is understood the ‘relegated’ side with the best points per game record from either the Northern, Southern or Isthmian Premier Leagues could earn a reprieve at the end of the campaign, with Frickley currently in the strongest position.

But Wilson is hoping that situation will be of no concern to his team.

“I want us to stay up on merit, not because of a reprieve,” he added.

“It wasn’t long ago we were talking about a late run potentially getting us near the play-offs, so it’s been a lesson to us about how things can change so quickly and how when every team can beat anyone else, you’re always vulnerable if you’re not in good form.

“But I’m confident we’ll end the season on a high and push ourselves a few places up the table before the campaign finishes.”

Ilkeston face sides at either end of the division in a tricky Easter weekend double-header.

They head to Merseyside on Saturday to face Marine, the only other side Frickley could realistically overhaul depending on the Liverpool side’s result against Worksop last night (Wednesday).

Worksop themselves provide the opposition at the New Manor Ground on Monday (3pm), still with an outside chance of stealing the league title should those above them slip up.

Wilson said: “I’m looking for us to go up to Marine and do a job like we did at Ashton a couple of weeks ago. We’ve had a little break which has allowed everyone to recharge their batteries and that should certainly help us.

“The Worksop game will then be our last home match of the season and I’m hoping we’ll have a big Bank Holiday crowd to help us try and break the bad run of home form.

“Worksop could well still have the title in sight, or at the very least a play-off place to protect, so it should be a good game.

“We’ve still got plenty to play for what with nine points up for grabs and a Derbyshire Senior Cup final to round things off, so there’s still time for us to end the season on a real high and create a positive mood going into the summer and then next season.”