Kevin Wilson paid tribute to his players after a Christmas week that saw them endure mixed fortunes.
A 5-2 defeat at Worksop Town on Boxing Day was followed up two days later by an impressive 2-1 win at AFC Fylde, Aaron Hooton scoring two late goals to secure victory.
The New Year’s Day game with Buxton was played after the Advertiser went to press, but speaking at Fylde on Saturday Wilson expressed his delight at the response of his squad just two days after the Worksop defeat.
He said: “I didn’t want to change too much but we did opt for a bit more experience in midfield and I think that played a big part.
“Our belief in the youngsters hasn’t changed but sometimes you need experience to get through tough times and it paid off today.
“The players all worked hard for each other. At Worksop on Boxing Day we played reasonably well but they scored with the vast majority of chances they created, whereas we were guilty of individual errors again and of not taking enough chances.
“But against Fylde we kept our shape and organisation throughout.
“I’m also pleased for Aaron Hooton because he’s had to be patient but he got his chance today and took his goals well and was in the right place at the right time, which is something we’ve lacked at times recently.”
The Worksop game saw two Ilkeston players receive straight red cards, Chey Adams for violent conduct and Joe Maguire for dissent, although Wilson had differing views on each decision.
He said: “I thought Chey’s was harsh, particularly as the Worksop player had lashed out too and wasn’t punished at all.
“Joe should have known better than to get sent off in the way he did and he’ll be punished accordingly.”
Following the Buxton game yesterday (Wednesday), Ilkeston will host FC United of Manchester on Saturday, the next in a tough run of games against sides in the top echelons of the division.
Wilson added: “What I’m really keen for us to do now is to build on the performance at Fylde as it is the sort of result that could really kick-start things.
“We’ve had a couple of good wins on the road recently but not as many at home which is obviously something I want us to rectify as we move into a crucial part of the season.”
For a report on the Buxton game, see www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk.