Shaun Goater took great pleasure in seeing his Ilkeston FC side record just their second win under his tutelage on Saturday - and hopes it can give all at the club a timely boost.
Ilkeston remain deep in trouble and are still 14 points from safety after their 1-0 victory over Frickley, Tevahn Tyrell’s goal the difference in a poor and bad-tempered game.
But Goater took heart from the win and the clean sheet, having asked his players to produce the goods for the club’s supporters beforehand.
He said: “I told the players before the game that these fans are still coming here and paying to watch you play and I want you to show them that you have fight in you.
“It wasn’t a great game or overall performance, but the workrate was excellent and we did what we had to do to get the three points.
“These players still have a duty to perform even when things are tough, and I’m not saying we’ll stay up as it’s still a big ask, but wins breed positive morale and we have to build on it.”
The late red card for goalkeeper Dale Eve put a dampener on the victory, Goater feeling the ref had little choice but to send his fellow Bermudian from the field.
Goater said: “He reacted badly although he was caught late by their player which I don’t think the officials saw. We lose Dale for three games now which is a blow as he has been excellent for us, but it was a bad-tempered game and it had been threatening to bubble over like it did.”
Ilkeston now head to Hednesford Town on Tuesday night before the long trip to Workington next Saturday.