Kevin Wilson praised his Ilkeston FC squad for their response to a humiliating defeat at Curzon Ashton on Saturday as the Robins continue to battle for promotion from the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
The 4-0 defeat saw all the goals conceded before half-time, but was followed up by a much better display at home to Ashton United on Monday night and a point to show for it thanks to a 0-0 draw.
As upset as he was with Saturday’s performance, Wilson remained philosophical.
He said: “We lost the battle but not the war. The manner of our defeat was disappointing as all of the goals were preventable. We were poor individually and poor collectively but there were positives to be taken.
“The penalty for the second goal was a big call and I don’t think it was a penalty. I believe Jordan got a touch on the ball to put it out of play.”
Monday’s game saw a battle between two sides both in the current play-off positions and was played out in tough weather conditions, but Wilson was pleased with the overall display.
He said: “We wanted a good response to Saturday and I felt we got one.
“I rested a few of the lads as I could sense some were a bit tired and with so many games coming up I wanted to rotate things a bit.
“We needed a bit of luck at times as we fell asleep at the end of each half when Ashton hit the woodwork, but overall I felt we moved the ball around much better and could easily have won the game ourselves if some of our decision-making had been a bit better in the final third.
“I was disappointed witih the refereeing as I felt there should have been two red cards, first for the kick on Jake Wright in the first-half and then the bad foul on Luke Shaw late on, but all in all it was a good point for us.”
Overall, Wilson remains positive as the Robins prepare for two tough away trips over the next week, first to Ramsbottom United on Saturday and then Blyth Spartans next Tuesday night - the latter having drawn 1-1 at the New Manor Ground just a month ago.
Wilson said: “Our away form has largely been good but we need to get last Saturday out of our systems.
“Blyth are always tough to play and are on a good run, but we will go up there knowing we’re capable of a win.
“It’s still pretty remarkable that we are where we are in the table when you consider the upheaval we’ve had due to losing so many key players, so despite a couple of disappointing results recently it’s important to put things in perspective.
“We need the continued support of the fans. Sometimes they can get a bit frustrated with the players or myself, which they’re entitled to do, but we’re in with a shout of promotion which would be incredible so I hope they’ll encourage our young players.”
Meanwhile, the Ilkeston Football Club Supporters Group are staging their annual Race Night this Friday (27th) at The Dukeries on Cotmanhay Road.
The event begins at 7.30pm and all are welcome including children when accompanied by a responsible adult.
Entry is free and all proceeds will go towards raising funds for a new public address system at the New Manor Ground.