Ilkeston Town will return from a two-week break keen to extend their promising run of form this weekend.
They’ll travel to fourth-placed Atherstone looking to make it three wins on the trot following two home victories without conceding a goal prior to their rest from action.
And manager Steve Chettle believes that while the momentum from those wins may have been hampered a little, the break has been more of a help than a hindrance.
He said: “As we’d hoped beforehand, the break has given us a chance to recharge the batteries after what has been a lively few weeks for everyone involved with the club.
“We had a few knocks flying around that we’ve had time to get healed and I think a breather has overall been welcome for all of us.
“That said, the players will be made to work hard this week. They had last Thursday night off training but two hard sessions will follow this week as we prepare for what will be another tough game on Saturday.”
As is common at this stage given Ilkeston’s short life so far, little is yet known of Saturday’s opponents but Chettle is keen to get his homework done.
He said: “As always you need to know what your opponents will offer and we’ll study the stats and work out where we think we can hurt them.
“We haven’t won away from home yet so that will be something we’ll want to address. We played well in our last away game against Lichfield so coupled with the home wins that followed we’re in a good run of form and we want that to continue.”
As for personnel, Chettle confirmed that striker Ben Fairclough has joined the ranks to add to the signings of Jordan Wheatley and Calum King which were completed just before the last match against Bolehall.
And although the trio will give him good options, it doesn’t mean Chettle is planning to make changes to the starting eleven just yet.
He said: “We’re playing well and as it stands, the shirts belong to the players who have helped us win the last two games.
“Others know they’ll have to be patient but we have some good strength-in-depth now.
“The last game was, in my opinion, our best all-round display and gives us something great to build on.”
Following the match with Atherstone, a local derby follows as Ilkeston head up the road to Heanor Town in the League Cup next Tuesday night.
Chettle added: “None of our away games are very local at all so this will be a good one to have both for the fans and the players.
“I have no plans to rotate the squad although obviously we’ll see how Saturday goes. I see no point in changing things unnecessarily if we’re doing well given it can upset momentum.”