Ilkeston FC’s players will have little chance to play with their Christmas presents as two away trips in three days await them in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
Worksop Town will play host today (Boxing Day) before the Robins then visit AFC Fylde on Saturday, Kevin Wilson’s men aiming to continue their mini-run which stands at three games unbeaten in all competitions.
And despite both encounters being against teams currently in the promotion hunt, Wilson says his young squad are up to the challenge.
He said: “Anyone can beat anyone in this division and we’ve been playing fairly well in the last couple of weeks so we’re not worried about going away to two of the top sides in the division.
“The young players are still developing every game and the new signings have done well too, so we’ve nothing to fear.”
On last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Trafford, Wilson was left frustrated by the late equaliser that denied his side all three points.
“At the end of the day it wasn’t our shape or all round display that cost us the win, it was down to us falling asleep at a set play and allowing them to score,” he said.
“Similar happened against Whitby and Ashton so it’s obviously frustrating.
“But the fact remains we’ve taken four points from two games and I’ve always said that if you can average that over a season then you won’t go far wrong.
“We didn’t play all that well against Trafford in that we were a bit disjointed at times, but we kept going and it seemed we’d done enough to get three points until their goal.
“We’ve got to learn to grind things out sometimes when we’re only a goal ahead late on, rather than trying to go too hard for a second and leave ourselves open.”
Reflecting on 2013 as a whole, Wilson says he is satisfied with the overall progress Ilkeston FC have made.
He said: “It’s been frustrating at times but we’ve had some great moments like winning the Derbyshire Senior Cup and the development of the young players has been a real bonus too, particularly those in the first team and the displays in the FA Youth Cup.
“What it has all done is given us a great foundationto build on in 2014. We’re still ahead of schedule in our five-year plan so there’s no panic from our point of view if we don’t go up this year, but we’ll keep working hard and who knows what can happen?”