Ilkeston FC boss Kevin Wilson says he is relishing the challenge of facing high-flying Chorley this weekend despite the Robins’ recent drop in form.
Just one win in their last six league games means Ilkeston have dropped to ninth in the table, with just three goals scored in that time and several teams around them having games in hand.
But Wilson believes the pressure will be off when he takes his side to Lancashire on Saturday.
He said: “We’re in a bit of a blip at the moment where we’re not converting enough chances and it’s costing us valuable points.
“It’s been hard since Darren Caskey (former assistant manager) left because there’s been a void created that we’ve not yet been able to fill, coupled with us having key players missing.
“A few players are out of form too so that’s been another problem, particularly in an attacking sense.
“But we’ll go to Chorley with the pressure off us a bit as they’re looking like real title challengers and will be expected to beat us.”
Wilson looked back on last Saturday’s 0-0 draw against struggling Stafford with an air of frustration having again seen his side fail to register a goal, but was nevertheless heartened by a clean sheet.
He said: “We had mixed feelings really because whilst it wasn’t a great performance we still should have won the game given the chances we created, and yet we defended well enough to keep a clean sheet which gives us something to build on at Chorley.”
Attention then turned to the Robins’ academy side on Tuesday night as they were beaten 1-0 by Accrington Stanley in the second round proper of the FA Youth Cup.
The tournament had seen some impressive performances throughout by the young Ilkeston players, the Accrington game being no exception as arguably the better side on the night lost the tie.
Wilson said: “It shows how far we’ve come that the lads are all so disappointed about having just lost narrowly to a Football League club.
“With the first team going through a tough time, these young lads have given me real heart with their display tonight because they were fantastic and really unlucky not to go through.
“Unfortunately a bit of the ‘first team syndrome’ hit us against Accrington because we didn’t convert some very good openings and then conceded a poor goal, but everyone who was at the game will have been incredibly impressed by what they saw and it shows great promise for the future.”