Friday 27 July
Kevin Wilson takes Ilkeston FC to Gresley FC tomorrow urging his players not to take their foot off the accelerator.
We were 3-2 winners over npower League Two side Burton Albion on Tuesday night at the New Manor Ground.
But manager Wilson (pictured) wants to see just as much application at the Moat Ground – and not a ‘hangover’ as he saw last weekend for the 2-1 defeat to Notts County after a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United a few days before.
“You are going to get different challenges in pre-season and different ways that opponents approach the game and sometimes your performance can alter as well,” said Wilson.
“We played well against Sheffield United in our first home pre-season game and the level dropped last weekend against Notts County with a lacklustre performance.
“We were better in the win over Burton this midweek, and now we have to see how we respond this time. Certainly as a manager I will learn things about the squad.
“You are always looking at different ideas in pre-season and I might look at a different system. I want to keep everyone fresh and on their toes.
“There’s a bit of a pattern emerging with the team, but it’s up to the other players to show me what they can offer because there is still three weeks to go before the season starts.
“Gresley have done fantastically well and Gary (Norton) is building a very good squad. They had similar trouble to us and were relegated, but they have won back to back promotions in the last two years. It is going to be a test for us, win lose or draw.”
Wilson is still looking at a host of trialists, some in matches and some in training, as the season draws ever nearer.
However, he insists it will not be until the final week of pre-season that he will look to settle on his squad, whose first league game is a home clash against AFC Fylde on August 18.
Wilson said: “I’ll maybe not decide exactly on who makes the final cut of those here on trial until the Hucknall game, or even the Mickleover one (on August 10).
“The fact is I’m always looking for young, hungry players because I don’t want others to take things for granted, but I will be honest with those who come in as to where their future lies.”
Laurie Wilson could be missing for another two weeks with a separated shoulder while Jamie Clarke (back) is also facing a spell on the sidelines.
But Alex Ford could be back available after returning from holiday last night.
“You are going to get niggles and knocks in pre-season, just as you are going to get them during the course of the season,” said manager Wilson.
“But that is why we have the squad in place that we do and it gives those on the fringes of the team a chance to push their claims.”