Joe Maguire says Ilkeston Town must have the right mental approach if they want to win promotion
Experienced defender Joe Maguire believes having the right mental approach will be key to Ilkeston Town’s hopes of promotion glory.
The Robins finished ninth in last season’s null and void Northern Premier League Division One South East campaign.
But Ilkeston now have a bigger budget in place and are targeting a serious promotion push next time out.
“Mentality is huge in any level of football,” said Maguire. “You have got to step on to the pitch and not be scared.
“You can’t go on to the pitch and think about what might happen if you throw it away.
“You have always got to think positive in football or it just doesn’t end well.
“If you go on a bad run you have to have strong heads as a squad. You have all got to be in it together.”
And Maguire (28), who was part of the Ilkeston side which lost the 2014/15 Northern Premier League Premier Division play-off final to Curzon Ashton, feels Town are already not far off the mark.
“We have got to aim to win the league,” he added. “With the signings we are going to make in the summer, we will be going for it.
“We have a decent squad already, but promotion is the target.
“We just need a bit more experience and to sort a couple positions out that need a bit of strength in depth and then we are not far away.
“There are a few good players there already and we are not too far away from a promotion team.
“We have just got to make sure we are right at it from the start and then continue that consistency.”
But the experienced centre-half, who returned to the New Manor Ground in February as a free agent, is all too aware that a host of new signings does not guarantee success.
“Even if we do sign some good players, it might take time to gel,” he said.
“If it’s five or six new players, it might be the first time everyone has played together.
“Pre-season is about getting things right, not really focusing on the results, you just want to get it right and to be ready for the first game.
“The way the season ended was frustrating. I felt like I was getting fitter and sharper as the games were going by. I can’t wait to get going again.”
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