Ilkeston FC boss Kevin Wilson believes the play-offs remain a very real possibility for the Robins - but that certain areas of his side’s game still need to improve for that to happen.
The Robins are now eight league games unbeaten following the 4-2 win over Frickley Athletic last weekend, a result which lifted them into tenth place and just three points from a play-off berth.
That’s all the more remarkable given Ilkeston were bottom of the table in October, but while Wilson remains thrilled by the change in fortunes he is also cautious about what lies ahead.
He said: “As I say every year, the first target is to get enough points to stay up and I don’t think we’re far from that now.
“But we’ve also set ourselves targets every few games and so far we’ve met them. First we wanted to catch Grantham up and we did that in good time, then it was Chorley and we’re now a point behind them with two games in hand.
“So the next realistic target has to be a play-off spot, and with it being very tight and everyone beating everyone else, it’s more than achievable.
“But there are ways we need to improve if we’re going to have a chance.
“I still think we’re conceding too many goals, and too many sloppy ones at that, which we can’t afford to do if we want to keep progressing.
“I may have been a centre forward by trade but I love keeping clean sheets, and if we can do that then it’s become clear we’ve got enough firepower up front to score goals at the other end and win matches.”
It was that factor which proved vital on Saturday in the win over Frickley, with the two poor goals conceded eventually eliminated by four at the other end.
Wilson said: “Even though we won the game I felt no individuals came out of the game with any real credit.
“Nobody played to their maximum, they just did what they had to do, which although still won us three points without being properly stretched, was disappointing from my point of view.
“I know people will think I’m just moaning but even though we’re on a great run, the facts are there and they’re simple enough to put right, and doing so will work wonders.”
Wilson has also expressed his desire to keep adding to his squad in order to give it more depth going into the final stages.
He remains hopeful he can bring back previous loan signings including defender Jide Maduako to the New Manor Ground to add to the acquisition of experienced full-back Rob Kozluk last week (see story on right).
Wilson added: “We’ve got a good relationship with Notts County and Leicester and they sound positive about letting us have players like Jide and Curtis Thompson back as it benefits those lads a great deal.
“I’m always looking to strengthen. We’ve not been frightened by any teams this season but I still feel we lack in some areas and I think squad depth is vital.”