Ilkeston FC manager Kevin Wilson says time will tell as to how a two-week break has affected his squad.
The Robins host bottom-of-the-table Shepshed Dynamo on Saturday in a match which on paper looks to be a home banker.
But Wilson says it’s all about making sure complacency doesn’t creep in and not showing signs of lethargy following the lay-off.
He said: “It can work one of two ways. We’ll either come out looking sharp and lively and hit Shepshed hard early on or the lads will be a bit off the pace and need a kick up the backside.
“Everyone’s expecting us to win but, as has been proved in this division all season, anyone can beat anyone else and Shepshed will no doubt be raising their game given they’re in a relegation fight.”
Wilson has accepted the league title is most likely to go to Grantham Town following the Gingerbreads’ vital win over Sheffield on Saturday, and now that the top three have played the same amount of matches the picture has become much clearer.
Grantham need just eight more points from their remaining five games to be sure of the title, although that is based on Ilkeston winning all of their matches including the final day showdown with the league leaders.
But Wilson says the Robins must keep winning their games in case any slip-up occurs, with second-place also being an important target for the play-offs. Carlton Town currently sit just two points behind in third.
“We’ve got to keep the pressure on, as we’d be kicking ourselves if Grantham slip up and we haven’t capitalised,” he said.
“Obviously it’s all in Grantham’s hands and they have some winnable games coming up, but so do we and it would be great if we can take it to the final day of the season.”
Meanwhile, Wilson says he is hoping to bring in a new player ahead of today’s (Thursday) transfer deadline and a striker is at the top of his shopping list.
With Tyrell Waite having gone to Notts County there is a space to fill in the attacking department and Wilson is keen to have strength in depth.
He said: “I’ve got a few irons in the fire and I’m looking to bring in at least one player before the transfer window closes.
“Our goal-scoring record over the season is good but I do feel we’ve been guilty on numerous occasions of failing to kill teams off when we’ve clearly been the dominant force, and I want to avoid that happening over the next few weeks.”
Midfielder Laurie Wilson will miss the next two matches against Shepshed on Saturday and then at Kidsgrove on April 7 due to suspension.
He picked up his tenth booking of the season against Sutton Coldfield.
For Kevin Wilson’s thoughts on striker Gary Ricketts being named Evo-Stik Division One South’s Player of the Year, see page 35.