Wilson realistic despite fine form

Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson

KEVIN Wilson has paid tribute once more to his goal-happy Ilkeston FC squad - but urged caution ahead of this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash against Sheffield FC.

The Robins go to the league leaders on the back of 5-2 and 6-0 away successes, the latter at Market Drayton Town last Saturday.

And Wilson was full of praise for his attacking players after a devastating display which could easily have seen more than the six goals scored, and also for his defence after a clean sheet.

He said: “I didn’t actually think we were at our best but if you go away in any league and win 6-0, that’s a tremendous achievement.”

“I’m also delighted with a clean-sheet. That’s now two in the space of three games and for me, that shows we are making progress.

“Even though I was a striker in my career I get more satisfaction from clean sheets than anything else, particularly when our attacking players are so reliable at the other end.

“So while I already knew we’d always score goals, and it’s also been very pleasing to see them coming from all different postitions, I didn’t know whether we had what it takes to stay tight at the back.

“Recent games have proved that we can.”

Tough test

Wilson acknowledged the game at Sheffield will be a difficult test for his young squad, and that expectation will be high based on previous results, but he was keen to ensure the club’s supporters keep their feet on the ground.

“We all set ourselves goals at the start of the season and at the moment we’re exactly where we wanted to be,” he said.

“But it’s all about where we finish in April, not where we are now.

“They’re all difficult games as every team poses a varied challenge, and Sheffield will be no different, particularly with the start they’ve had which has been similar to ours.

“But while we’re confident going into the game, we’ve also got to be realistic. Having scored 13 goals in three games Sheffield will be wary of us, but as I’ve said, if we can keep a clean sheet then with our firepower I think we can get a result.”

Next Tuesday, Ilkeston travel to Coalville to compete in the Doodson Sport Cup First Round.

And with a congested fixture list ahead, Wilson says he expects the match to be a good opportunity to give some fringe and academy players a run out.

“I spoke with the chairman about it and we agreed that the league has to be the priority, though of course we’d still like to win at Coalville,” he said.

“We’ll look at it in the context of the Sheffield result, but it will be a chance to give minutes to some of the players who haven’t featured too much and for them to stake a claim for a place in the first team.

“There’s a Saturday/Monday double-header coming up after that so it’s important our key players stay fresh.”