Chettle: ‘Break harms our momentum’

Alex Marshall in action during the win over Uttoxeter. Photo by Craig Lamont.
Alex Marshall in action during the win over Uttoxeter. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Steve Chettle says a break from league action this weekend isn’t as welcome on this occasion given his Ilkeston Town side’s fine run of form.

In the past, a weekend off has been helpful to the Robins when it comes to getting injured players fit again or resting from a hectic schedule.

But Chettle says that given their current run of form, he’d have preferred not to have to wait until next Tuesday’s Derbyshire Senior Cup game at Glossop to see his troops play again.

He said: “The weekend off isn’t such a good thing this time as we have some great momentum behind us but there’s nothing we can do about it.

“We’ll still work the players hard in training and make sure we’re ready for not only the Glossop game but then the huge match with Walsall Wood the following Saturday.”

That game with title challengers Walsall Wood will carry great significance now Ilkeston have moved to the top of the table, although the West Midlands side have four games in hand.

Ilkeston could in fact lose top spot on Saturday should Leicester Road avoid defeat to Paget Rangers and Studley lost at Brocton. Walsall Wood are in FA Vase action.

Saturday’s 3-0 win over Uttoxeter Town saw a strong second-half display ensure another valuable three-point haul for Chettle’s men.

He said: “In the first-half we weren’t great but got the goal just before the break which was important.

“The lads were a bit up tight such is the weight of expectation on them at the moment and I told them just to calm down and finish the job.

“We did just that and the two quick goals killed Uttoxeter off because up to that point they’d have probably felt they had a chance of taking something from the game.”

Tuesday’s trip to Glossop will again see Chettle make some changes to his team, particularly with the big league game following soon afterwards. Glossop are currently sixth in the Evo-Stik Division One North standings.

He added: “The lads who have played in the cup games will do so again.

“Obviously it would be nice to go into the Walsall Wood game with another win under our belts but the league is our priority and the Glossop game is a bit of a freebie for us given we won’t be expected to win and it’s a tough place to go.”

Chettle added that he remains happy with the make-up of his squad at present, saying: “We’ve got a good group of 19 and I’m not going to make signings for the sake of it, despite having been offered lots of players such is the appeal of playing here.

“If injuries and suspensions kick in, we’ll see, but right now we have a very good and close-knit set of players.”