Extension to season gets thumbs up from Wilson

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Ilkeston FC boss Kevin Wilson says the decision to extend the Evo-Stik League season by a week was a sensible one to make – and has challenged his side to take advantage by ending the campaign on a high.

The recent cold weather has forced matches to be re-arranged in an already congested schedule, a situation that led to the rare step being taken to add a week on to the calendar.

That means Ilkeston will now host Marine on Saturday, May 4, with the two sides having been denied a meeting last weekend with snow covering the New Manor Ground pitch.

Wilson said: “I think the extension had to happen and it gives people a chance to re-evaluate things and plan accordingly.

“There could well be a few weeks where teams, including ourselves, may end up playing Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday, which is far from ideal but the weather has dictated it.

“It’ll give us a chance to try a few things out and perhaps blood a few of the academy lads too who deserve a chance to show us what they can do.”

The Robins remain comfortably in mid-table with no threat of relegation and requiring a remarkable run of form to stand a chance of reaching the play-offs.

But Wilson insists finishing as high up the league as possible is a priority, and that his side must be ready to capitalise on those above them slipping up.

“There’s no pressure on us. They’re all fighting for position above and it’s an intriguing battle for the promotion and play-off spots, and with so many games to be played there will be slip-ups,” he said.

“So there will be opportunities for us to climb a few places and really give ourselves a good target to aim at improving on next season.

“You never know, if we hit a great run of form we could catch people unawares and still have a big say in the promotion race one way or another.”

Ilkeston host Blyth Spartans this weekend, who beat the Robins 3-2 on March 16, before visiting Worksop Town on Easter Monday.

Wilson added: “You could say we owe Blyth one after what happened a couple of weeks ago as our players were hurt by that.

“And Worksop might feel the same about us after we beat them in the last minute on New Year’s Day, so that’ll be another tough test but one we’re capable of winning if we’re at our best.”