Manager Kevin Wilson says he expects his Ilkeston FC squad to climb the league table quickly after the club’s exit from the major cup competitions was confirmed.
The Robins threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 at Whitby Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday, with their FA Cup campaign having ended at home to AFC Fylde five days earlier.
But after Ilkeston earned an encouraging draw at league leaders North Ferriby United on Tuesday night, Wilson was upbeat about the future whilst at the same time still haunted by Saturday’s collapse.
He said: “I was embarrassed by the way we lost on Saturday and I don’t think I’ve ever had to say that about Ilkeston FC.
“A lot of things were said after the game as I felt let down by a number of players and I decided to make several changes to make sure something similar didn’t happen tonight (Tuesday)
“It wasn’t about being pretty, it was about coming here and making sure it was difficult for Ferriby, which we succeeded in doing.
“If we’d shown a bit more of what we saw tonight in some of the previous games then maybe things would have been very different.
“Ferriby had a lot of chances and possession so arguably they deserved the point, but then you can say the same about us in a lot of the games we’ve lost this year despite us dominating in many cases, so in that sense things didn’t go our way again.
“But you have to take the rough with the smooth and that could be the point that gets our season going in earnest, particularly with us facing Kendal at home on Saturday.”
Wilson made five changes on Tuesday from the side that lost at Whitby, with some enforced due to injuries but others to give opportunities to players who have been waiting patiently in the wings.
The result was a hard-working performance that saw Ilkeston show a lot more resilience under pressure – something lacking in previous games – and Wilson was delighted with those who stepped up to the plate.
He added: “Some of the lads who played tonight were on trial in a sense because there are a few at the club who haven’t been good enough and whose places are under threat.
“It’s a long-term plan here and we don’t want to be going backwards so have to be brave and make changes when needed as we really need to start moving up the table now.”