Kevin Wilson says his Ilkeston FC players will need to find another gear if they’re to gain promotion from the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
The Robins put in a disappointing display as they lost 1-0 at Grantham Town on Saturday and are now preparing to face promotion rivals Workington at the New Manor Ground on Saturday.
Three points from their last two games should secure the Robins a play-off spot, but Wilson is aware that if that hurdle and indeed even bigger ones in the play-off themselves are to be overcome, his players need to perform better than last Saturday’s game.
He said: “It was a really disappointing display, there’s no hiding from that. Individually and collectively we weren’t good enough.
“Our fate is still in our own hands but we’re going to have to be much better than we did on Saturday when we were out-fought and out-battled which can’t happen against sides in the top five otherwise we’ll have no chance.
“I’m disappointed, really disappointed, and in fairness I can’t remember too many games where I’ve felt this way.”
Workington will arrive at the New Manor Ground in second spot and with a play-off spot already guaranteed. FC United’s defeat on Tuesday to Skelmersdale means Workington will still fancy challenging for the title even though United are two points ahead and with a game more to play than the Cumbria side.
Wilson added: “It will be a very tough game, we know that having played them and lost 2-0 at their place a couple weeks ago. Often we’ve played far better against the sides higher in the table though so hopefully we can raise our game and get a win that should secure our place in the play-offs.”
Midfielder David Morgan will serve the second of his three-game suspension, the Northern Irishman only available again should Ilkeston make the play-offs. He was replaced in midfield by Joe Burgess at Grantham who should be fit to face Workington despite picking up a knock last weekend.
Meanwhile, striker Rai Simons has become the latest Robins star to earn a move into the Football League after signing a two-year deal with League One promotion challengers Chesterfield.
Bermudan international Simons (19) has come through the Robins academy and will join up with the Spireites after seeing out the season at the New Manor Ground.
Wilson said: “It is fantastic for Rai to get the move to Chesterfield and be another one in the growing list of people moving to bigger and better things into the Football League.
“It’s not easy for someone to come from another country and perform like Rai has done over the past few years with me at Ilkeston.
“It’s a step in the right direction which he deserves and I’m sure there will be a lot more to come from Rai in the future.”
For an interview with Simons on his move to Chesterfield, see www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk.