Duffers’ Diaries: Young Robins getting better the more the play

Ilkeston v Corby.
Ben Morris.
Ilkeston v Corby. Ben Morris.

As I mentioned in my match report from Saturday against Corby, there’s a familiar theme running through Ilkeston’s performances in recent months.

The debacle at Mickleover being the exception, Ilkeston have lost five of their last six games by the odd goal, not scoring any more than one goal in each of them.

That final element tells its own story, as with more goals in the team the defeats could well have been draws or wins, but it also shows that given a good few of the matches before that ‘run’ were heavier defeats, the young Robins are adapting better the more they play.

That means little, however, given they’re not picking up any points, although it remains hard to fault them as individuals. In the games I’ve seen recently, the effort has certainly been there and these kids look desperate to impress, but at the same time they sometimes look disheartened that nothing is going their way.

It’s a real shame, as in the right team setup they could be thriving and beginning to attract the higher level clubs, but with things as they are, any good playing experience they’re getting is being countered by the negative effects of losing each week.

I’m not going to waffle on again about what is needed for the club to stay up because that much is obvious, but it remains alarming that nothing has yet happened other than the acquisition of a Bermudan goalkeeper that wasn’t really a high priority. That said, there’s a lot of pressure on young Jamie Hannis and although he’s handling it well (pardon the pun), a player like Dale Eve is far from a bad signing.

Paul Holland seemed pretty adamant he’d be pushing hard to get players in before the Barwell game on Saturday and we can only hope he succeeds.

In terms of the broader picture, like a few fans I’ve heard whispers that something may be happening behind the scenes with regard to the club’s future so it could be an interesting few weeks.

Let’s face it, something has to happen, regardless of who is in charge and for how long, so if it’s the current owner then he needs to publically provide clear clues as to how he’s going to help solve the league position, and if someone new is on the horizon then they have an arguably tougher job to come in fresh and succeed instantly. Time will tell.

Whatever happens, the recent defeats to Sutton Coldfield and Corby could prove really damaging, particularly with games against the likes of Barwell and leaders Blyth on the horizon that you’d be surprised to see Ilkeston take anything from.