Head coach Gavin Strachan has urged his Ilkeston FC players to use Monday night’s encouraging display against Darlington as a springboard to ending their winless run.
Seven games have passed since the 4-3 victory over Stourbridge on August 24, the Robins now sitting firmly in the bottom half of the league table.
But Monday’s 1-1 draw highlighted several causes for optimism and Strachan feels a win isn’t far away.
He said: “It was a good performance against a good team. The first-half saw us have less of the ball but it was good to still see us create lots of chances. How the goal was disallowed for the foul on the keeper is beyond me and we could well have had a second penalty as well as hitting the bar.
“Darlington started the second-half well and even when the lad was sent off it wasn’t easy against ten men as they’ve good players who can keep the ball and make things difficult,
“I feel for the players that they’re not getting some of the results they deserve and this was a good example. Sometimes we’re not good enough and we’re not afraid to tell them that if it’s the case, but other times we’ve deserved more.
“We just need to be a bit more clinical. The Darlington staff said we’re the best footballing team that they’ve played which is a great compliment.”
Strachan brought in two new players ahead of last Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Marine. Goalkeeper Ross Durrant has arrived on a one-month loan from Nottingham Forest while striker Charles Weston has signed on non-contract terms having been released by Stoke City in the summer.
Strachan said: “Evandro Rachoni is still adapting to English football and we felt he needed a bit of a break to see how he reacts.
“His dedication is unbelievable. He’s working at all hours to improve his fitness and ability and almost driving himself up the wall such is his desire to succeed, but we’ve got Ross for a month and we’ll assess things after that.
“We’re still looking out for some experience and the training programme can be flexible if players come in that dictate it’s necessary, but they need to train enough to know the system we play and be familar with it, rather than just chucking them in for every game.
“But some of the boys are starting to step up to the plate which might make things easier for us.”
A fixture change means Ilkeston will now head to Whitby Town this Saturday, rather than next Wednesday as originally planned, due to both sides’ FA Cup exits.
And Strachan wants to see the Robins carry on from Monday’s display, adding: “That good performance is devalued massively if we don’t follow it up at Whitby.
“We’ve said it before but it’s still a learning curve for so many of these lads and they’re getting better all the time.
“What’s also been good is that the players who were here last year in Danny Gordon, Matt Baker and Mike Williams have really come on too and have been some of our best performers in recent games.
“So we’ll take the positives as we are playing well, and just try and turn some of these good displays into wins.”