MANAGER Kevin Wilson has called for more positivity from his players in home games after Ilkeston FC fell to another disappointing defeat on their own patch.
The 1-0 loss at home to Belper Town on Bank Holiday Monday saw the Robins produce another below-par home performance – half of their eight defeats so far having come at the New Manor Ground.
And it’s something Wilson remains keen to rectify, particularly with Grantham Town and Carlton Town having opened up a gap at the top of the table.
He said: “We didn’t produce anything like enough quality and lacked a lot of width against Belper, though even their manager said it felt a bit like a smash and grab raid given the amount of possession we had.
“But the home form remains something we have rectify. We’re going about things differently to the away games in that we’re sometimes too keen to get the ball up to the front two and don’t put as much thought in.
“We knew it would be frustrating at times as that’s the nature of football, but Monday was disappointing and we need to bounce back quickly.”
Ilkeston face two games in three days this weekend with a trip to bottom-of-the-table Shepshed Dynamo followed by a home clash with Sheffield FC, who are a point behind the Robins with a game in hand.
It is the third time this season Ilkeston have travelled away to face a side propping up the table, with contrasting results at Quorn (3-2 defeat) and Rainworth MW (4-1 win), but Wilson is hoping it will provide a good opportunity to bounce back from Monday’s loss.
“The expectancy will be there once again at Shepshed and it’s important we do the job properly and reproduce the good away form so far,” he said.
“Sheffield are a good side but at one point they were two points ahead of us with a game in hand so have let a good position slip, something we initially benefited from. It’s a good opportunity to rectify a few things at home following the Belper result.”
Wilson says he doesn’t think striker Daryll Thomas will be ready to return to the fold at Shepshed having missed the Hucknall and Belper games due to injury, although the player himself has said on his Twitter feed that he’ll be doing ‘everything in my power’ to get fit for the match.
Winger Will McCall has suffered a setback in his attempts to return from a troublesome thigh injury, but player/assistant manager Darren Caskey is expected to start at Shepshed.
But McCall’s absence has been softened by the news that winger James Reid has extended his loan from AFC Telford United by another month.
Wilson said: “It has taken James the best part of a month to get himself fully fit and I’m now looking for him to make a real impact over the next few weeks.
“He has good quality and I think there’s a lot more to come from him. He certainly should score more goals.
“James was keen to stay and I’m very pleased that Telford have agreed that he can. Apart from anything else, with Will McCall now close to full fitness and Jack Watts making a real impression, it means we will have strong competition for the wide positions. That’s a really healthy situation to have.”