Kevin Wilson says he felt his Ilkeston FC side were bullied during their first defeat of the season on Tuesday night, but backed the Robins to bounce back quickly.
A draw at home to AFC Fylde on Saturday then the 2-1 loss at Rushall Olympic have begun the season in difficult fashion for Ilkeston, particularly with them losing key players through injury in each match.
But speaking after the Rushall defeat, Wilson says it’s important people don’t get too carried away despite the awkward start.
He said: “Last year we won the first game 4-0 but could have been finished early on because Goole missed some great chances, but that got lost in the euphoria a bit.
“We then lost at Sutton Coldfield and got brought back down to earth.
“So it’s important to look at the bigger picture and perhaps judge us after nine or ten games, but there’s no question that tonight we weren’t good enough and the players need to stand up and learn from their mistakes.
“We were bullied and got beaten by the physically stronger side, it’s as simple as that. Plus we conceded two very simple goals.
“When we did try and get it down and play, and there were times when I felt we over-played too, they were physically able to deal with it better and it played into their hands a bit.
“We’ve got to learn from it and start to pass the ball better as we certainly didn’t do that tonight.
“We need to get back to doing things that are natural to us and to which I felt we did the opposite against Rushall.”
Ilkeston now look ahead to a visit to Nantwich Town on Saturday before a big local derby at home to Eastwood Town on Bank Holiday Monday.
Striker Daryll Thomas looks set to miss both games after being injured against Fylde, while defender Ryan Wilson went off with a groin injury at Rushall.
“We’ve got to pick everyone up and get ready to go again,” said the manager.
“It’s a learning process again but I’ve got confidence in the players and I know they will get better but we’ve got to have the character to perform as we know we can.”