Paul Holland says hard work will be key to Ilkeston FC keeping their head above water in upcoming weeks as they continue a series of home matches at the New Manor Ground.
Following last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to visitors Workington, Ilkeston host league leaders Whitby Town on Saturday, Sutton Coldfield Town next Tuesday night and then Grantham Town on December 3.
That in turn will be followed by a game at home to Matlock Town in the Derbyshire Senior Cup three days later, and Holland is keen to see fans get behind his squad as they aim to make the NMG a tough place for teams to visit.
He said: “We’ve had some good and bad displays at home this season but with the fans’ support we can hopefully reproduce the better ones.
“It was hard last weekend with such a young side out and there could be times where we’ll face similar situations to that, but this is a chance for young players who wanted to be considered first teamers and who wanted the chance to prove themselves, to do just that.”
Luke Foster, Rory Coleman and Anton Brown, all relative veterans in the first team squad, were among the notable absentees for the Workington game.
Holland wouldn’t be drawn on whether those players would return to the fold for the Whitby game, although had Monday’s match at Stourbridge not been postponed it is understood a similarly young side would again have taken to the field.
In the meantime, Holland reiterated his faith in the club’s young players who, as has been the case so far this season, will continue to form the bulk of the first team squad.
He said: “It will need a lot of hard work and we’ll certainly ensure that is what they do in order to be competitive.
“Fans look at it and fear the worst and I understand that, but while there will be dips, I’m confident these players will improve as they get more experience and we need the fans to get behind them.”
Meanwhile, independent sources have told the Advertiser that the long-awaited money due from the transfer of Che Adams from Sheffield United to Birmingham City is expected to be paid in the near future.
Ilkeston FC are due what is understood to be a six-figure sum from the deal due to a sell-on clause in Adams’ contract, but Sheffield United have been slow to release the funds due to reasons that cannot be divulged for legal purposes.
Holland added: “Some people think the club already has the money but I know for a fact that’s not the case.
“When it comes in it will obviously help on several levels but I don’t know as yet how the playing side of things will benefit.”
The Sutton Coldfield home game, which had originally been postponed from November 29 due to Sutton’s county cup commitments, has now been rescheduled for that date.
This weekend’s game with Whitby has been brought forward from Friday, December 30.