Simon Clark summed up his side’s performance on Easter Monday as ‘horrific’ and all but conceded that their play-off hopes had vanished.
Speaking after an hour-long dressing room inquest into the 4-1 defeat, a visibly devastated first team boss admitted Tigers’ inconsistency had left them too much to do to finish in the Northern Premier League top five.
And he took full responsibility for the team’s apparent mental weaknesses.
He said: “It’s a huge blow, absolutely massive.”
“We were looking at seven in nine to creep into the last spot. Now it’s seven in eight, which is a run that teams put together once every five years if they’re in form.”
“Our inconsistency is murdering us.”
“It’s my side, it’s down to me, yes the players do it on the pitch, but it’s my team.”
“People go missing, they get done, they get out-fought – we’re not tired, Ilkeston played 48 hours before, so if it’s not physical what is it?”
Clark went on: “I always write a lot of technical points down, today at half-time it wasn’t about football, it was about passion, will to win, desire.”
“We were 1-1 at half-time, and we come out and serve that up for our fans, on our pitch, when we’ve got things to play for.”
“Did we deserve anything? No. Let’s get it right, we didn’t. Not at all.”
He also lamented the defending that allowed Ilkeston back into the game, after Tigers had gone in front.
“We score after six and then we concede a set play.”
“We’ve spoken about it, got organised for it and worked on it. It’s horrific. It kicks the football club.”
“The back four defended too deep, they weren’t brave enough. It was hard to blame Baz for any of the goals.”
With no real momentum to carry into their final eight fixtures, and the club’s stated aim of a play-off finish highly improbable if not impossible, Clark says the mission now is to try and improve their league position.
“(It’s about) personal pride to finish as high up the league as we can as an individual and a group.”
“I’ve gone through each of them individually in the dressing room.”
“Whether it’s to get your contract or to be part of a great football club, it’s about personal pride now.”